Spring Rush 2017

Scott Schwanke, Location Manager, Plainview (507) 259-7611

As I write this, we are in the midst of a rainy spell that gives me a little time to reflect on the spring season we have had so far at the Plainview location.   We started out with a lot of damp, cold weather that caused many to wait to plant corn.  Then, from May 4th through May 8th, we had beautiful weather that allowed a large portion of the corn crop to get planted.  This was the busiest run I have seen since I have worked for All American Co-op & Progressive Ag Center, LLC.  If you happened to be picking up product at our plant during this time, I am sure you would agree with that.

What does it take to get fertilizer to your farm during planting season?  It does not just happen with the snap of a finger.  I thought I would give you a little behind the scenes look at what it takes.  In order for your fertilizer to be delivered when and where you need it, the fertilizer has to be purchased months in advance.  Since we do not have on site storage for all of your spring fertilizer needs, we need to have the majority of it delivered to our plant in season.  On the busiest days, we load out fertilizer up to 15 hours a day, seven days a week.  Unfortunately, we can only get fertilizer off the river in Winona for about 10 hours a day, 5.5 to maybe 6 days a week.  When we have a big planting weekend like we did on May 6th and 7th, it is difficult to keep enough product in our facility to keep you planting.  During these peak times, we have 4 to 5 semis bringing fertilizer in while the river is open.  In order to turn them around fast enough, we unload some of them at our west fertilizer plant during the day and transfer it back down to the main plant at night. 

Another part of the equation is good people.  We are fortunate to have a crew of dedicated people that know what it takes to get the job done.  They work through the winter to make plans and have equipment ready to roll.  Then, when spring hits, they put in long hours and do whatever it takes to get you what you need.  I know over the years they miss (in addition to sleep) many graduations, weddings, and birthdays because they understand the job that needs to be done.  I want to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of our employees for their effort and dedication to their job.  We couldn’t do it without them!

I hope this gives you a little idea of what it takes to get fertilizer to your farm.  I also want to thank you, our customers for working with us through these busy times.  Your communication and flexibility are key to helping us get products to you as timely as possible.  Thank you for your business and have a safe rest of the spring!

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