The education program was held at New Century’s Vinton, Iowa location and was designed to demonstrate how New Century FS is working to support best management practices toward a sustainable production system. The program’s visitors took a brief tour of the facility that includes two 26,000 gallon anhydrous ammonia storage tanks, equipped with remote shut off capability; the ag chemical building, designed for total containment; precision application equipment and New Century FS’s new dry fertilizer shed. During the tour, visitors also learned that the footprint of the property is contained within an earthen berm to help contain chemicals in case of an emergency.
“We are building for the future. We closed down four dry fertilizer sheds when we built this facility and wanted to build capacity for future growth. Also, we have been incorporating the newer technology whenever we can, all to help us do a better job on reducing the environmental impact that will also benefit our customers,” said Jake Jacobs, New Century FS general manager.
A representative of the Vinton mayor’s office attended, as well as all three of Benton County’s Supervisors. Terry Hertle, one of the county supervisors, noted the significant investment that New Century FS had made, both in buildings and equipment. Todd Wiley, another supervisor and local hog producer, was impressed by the level of precise control of nitrogen application that is available to farmers.
“New Century FS is doing the right thing. It goes against conventional thinking that a supplier would want to talk about nutrient reduction that would cut into their sales,” said Kevin Herink, local farmer and New Century FS and GROWMARK board member.
Among the attendees was Rick Robinson, who serves the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation as an environmental policy adviser. From a statewide perspective Robinson sees an industry-wide effort that is moving in the right direction. “The word is getting out about nutrient management. This kind of event helps get the word out to farmers and elected leaders like we have here today and encourages Farm Bureau members to look at these technologies and try them on their own farms. Cooperatives like New Century FS are helping farmers do a better job.”
“We’re here to help increase crop yield and make sure the environment is safe and sound and that our customers are profitable. All that goes hand-in-hand so that we can all be in business for years to come,” Jacobs added.
New Century FS, whose head office is in Grinnell Iowa, is a retail unit of the GROWMARK System, headquartered in Bloomington, Illinois.