KENNEBEC, S.D. — Over 100 growers got an up-close look at the new Kennebec Agronomy Center during an open house Feb. 26. The center is up and running for the 2016 planting season and, according to Steve Briggs, senior vice president, Agronomy and Corporate Marketing, it will provide growers in the trade area around Kennebec with some distinct advantages. South Dakota Wheat Growers was Precision Farming Dealer's Most Valuable Dealership in 2014. You can read the full story here.

From left to right, CEO Dale Locken, Precision Ag Manager Brent Wiesenburger and Sr. Vice President of Agronomy and Corporate Marketing, Stephen Briggs.

“We’re very excited to put this planting season in high gear in this area and what it will mean to grower service and satisfaction,” Briggs said. “Thanks to this facility, we will be able to provide superior service with the fastest, most efficient agronomy services to growers in this region.”

The 20,000-square-foot Agronomy Center has 150,000 gallons of liquid fertilizer and 13,500 tons of dry fertilizer capacity. The 200-ton capacity blending tower, the 150,000-gallon liquid fertilizer load-out system and a new, state-of-the-art seed treatment facility for wheat and soybeans are also ready for Wheat Growers' customers.

Jeff Tiede, Wheat Growers' south regional operations manager, says the Agronomy Center will provide greater opportunities for existing Wheat Growers customers as well as attract new business.

“We have a large customer base centered around Brule and Lyman counties, but our infrastructure, especially fertilizer load-out capabilities, has not been able to meet the demand. With this new facility in Kennebec we now have tremendous storage capacity that will make a huge difference logistically when it comes to re-supply during the busy season. And we’ve quadrupled our efficiency in terms of load-out speed.”

The Agronomy Center is the first phase of Wheat Growers’ $40 million project that will include a grain handling facility and shuttle loader in Kennebec. The new elevator is expected to be completed by late spring or early summer. Work has started on placement of the loop track for a 110-car shuttle train.