Ayr fertilizer plant the latest to get new warehouse

Farmers are becoming more efficient and retailers are investing in infrastructure to keep up

FS Partners is one of the many agriculture retailers that have built a new fertilizer warehouse to keep up with Ontario farmers.

“Farmers are looking for increased service and scalability. Their equipment has gotten bigger and we have to be able to follow that trend,” says Kevin Stumpf, manager of FS Partners, from its Ayr location.

FS Partners is the latest to invest in new fertilizer facilities. The Agromart Group opened a new fertilizer warehouse last year. P&H has committed to updating its fertilizer tower at Kerwood.

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The construction for FS Partners at Ayr, started in November of 2017 and represents one of the bigger facilities in Ontario. It measures out to 36,000 sq. feet with 15,000 tonnes of storage, more than doubling the previous Ayr capacity.

Why it matters: New fertilizer warehouses are needed as old warehouses are worn out from the high salt concentrations in fertilizer, the continuous growth of the Ontario farmers and the need to serve that growth.

The warehouse contains eight bays to hold the most frequently used fertilizers: urea, sulphur, zinc, potassium, magnesium, potash, monoammonium phosphate and ammonium sulphate, along with two bays for extra storage.

“The new facility allows us to hold all of the products, buy all of these products at a greater volume and it brings technology to the forefront,” says Stumpf.

The Ayr location still has its previously built domes, providing 18,900 tonnes for storage and distribution of fertilizer for the company’s wholesale members.

Retailers across Ontario are outgrowing their old fertilizer warehouse facilities, in size and efficiency.

“We’ve built (the warehouse) because the business has grown. Our marketplace and our volume has grown, so we need to keep up with that growing demand,” says Stumpf.

Improved plant efficiency has allowed the company to reduce staff by about four positions so only a loader operator and plant supervisor are needed in the warehouse.

Juli Paladino, marketing assistant with FS Partners at Ayr says that the company hopes to drastically lower the wait times for farmers picking up fertilizer.

“(The fertilizer is) being processed efficiently as they come through, volume wise and processing wise — everything about it will happen faster than it used to happen in the old-school system.”

The blender allows for 200 tonnes of overhead storage with 11 bins total — eight bins at 24 tonnes and three micro bins at 3.5 tonnes each, along with a Sackett HIM 2500 mixer with a 3.5 tonne capacity.

The first load of fertilizer was unloaded in the new facility in March.

The warehouse can be filled by truck and rail, with a 20-car rail siding capacity and a rail stacker able to receive 300 tonnes per hour.

The facility allows FS Partners at Ayr to handle about 2,000 tonnes of production per day.

About the author

Reporter

Jennifer lives on a farm in Cayuga, Ontario and has a lot of experience in the many aspects of agriculture.

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