STUART, Iowa — Construction of a state-of-the-art fertilizer
storage terminal that will serve both wholesale and retail customers has been
The new facility, owned by Growmark and managed by Agriland
FS, has a dry fertilizer storage capacity of 15,500 tons.
The Stuart facility is located on I-80 about 40 miles west
of Des Moines and has rail receiving capability on the Iowa Interstate Rail
Construction of the dry fertilizer facility complements the
acquisition of six CF fertilizer terminals by Growmark in early 2011.
Brian Hundman, Growmark plant food operations manager,
recently led media in a tour of the new facility.
The interior includes seven storage bins. Of those, two have
a capacity of 7,000 tons each, primarily for white potash and a form of
“Five other bins will hold about 600 tons each of products
such as palletized lime, urea and ammonium sulfate,” Hundman said.
“Depending on the time of year, there will be different
products that we will store in those smaller bins. However, for the most part,
the larger bins will be white potash and some sort of phosphate.”
He said the smaller 600-ton bins will have a variety of
seasonal products “because this is a wholesale facility and also a retail
facility where we serve a lot of what Agriland needs for products.”
“They’re serving the farmer who needs various types of
products, so we have more small bins to be able to have those different products
on site versus the wholesale facility,” he said.
Most of the product will be delivered to the storage site
“We can pull in about 18 cars at a time. For the most part,
the product could come from Mapleton, another Growmark facility,” Hundman
Products are unloaded into a rail pit capable of unloading
about 400 tons of fertilizer from railcars each hour. From the rail pit, the
product travels up a conveyor and is dumped into a specific for storage.
“When the product goes out, a loader moves the product from
the bin to the hoppers and moved to outside overhead bins with a capacity of
about 30 tons. The facility has a blending capacity of 300 tons per hour,”
“This facility is similar to the one in Casey, Ill. Almost
everything is automated. All of the orders come in by computer. The whole system
is run by computers, and all of the billing goes out by computers.
“It is a nice aspect of both the Casey and the Stuart
facility, where almost everything is automated. Because of the automation, we’re
able to have just two employees here.
“One runs the computer system that runs the loads, and
another operates the loader or unloading railcars. We’re pretty efficient at
what we do because of having all of the new automation.”
Agriland FS is an agricultural-based cooperative,
headquartered in Winterset.
It provides ag-related inputs including feed, seed, plant
food, crop protection, fuel, lubricants and grain marketing services to farmers
and rural residents in 38 southern Iowa counties.