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Speedy fertilizer delivery in 7 minutes or less

The new River Valley Agronomy Center opens and features the largest bulk fertilizer facility in the MFA system.

Mindy Ward, Editor, Missouri Ruralist

July 5, 2023

6 Slides

In the time it takes to watch seven TikTok videos, MFA’s new facility can load your semitrailer with fertilizer.

MFA opened a new agronomy center in western Missouri that features the largest bulk fertilizer plant for the company. The River Valley Agronomy Center in Higginsville, Mo., recently welcomed legislators, state agriculture officials, media and guests to tour the state-of-the-art facility.

Its 14,000-ton capacity equates to 600 trailer loads of dry fertilizer. That is a huge bump in capacity as the previous facility, built in 1977, held only 2,000 tons.

Company leaders say the new facility will improve MFA’s commitment to customers and agriculture in the region.

“This new facility will help us get more done in a day, and that helps farmers get more done in a day,” Ryun Morris, River Valley Agronomy Center manager, said in a news release. “We will gain efficiencies with both manpower and equipment, which means we can get growers’ fields applied in a more timely fashion.”

Speeding up delivery process

The new agronomy center consolidates smaller MFA fertilizer facilities into a larger, more modern operation.

Some of the highlights include:

  • a fully automated, declining-weight system that delivers accurate, multiproduct fertilizer blends.

  • seven 14-ton “charger” bins make multiple plant food products ready and waiting for blending to each customer’s specifications

  • upgraded equipment for faster loading and unloading time

Offloading a semitrailer of fertilizer can be done in five to seven minutes, compared to 30 minutes under the old system. Filling a 24-ton tender truck with a blended fertilizer order takes five to seven minutes instead of 45 minutes.

The 2,640-square-foot operations center also houses offices for MFA employees.

High-tech help up and down chain

The River Valley Agronomy Center incorporated new technology to keep its delivery system running smoothly.

AgSync organizes daily operations and flow of information, from the moment a customer places an order to completion of the application in the field.

“AgSync is a game-changer,” Morris said. “It connects everyone in the process, from truck drivers to the applicator to those of us doing the dispatching — and even the farmer. We can assure our equipment gets to the right places and logistically map out which fields we’re going to cover. Again, it’s all about being more efficient and getting across more acres in a shorter window of time.”

MFA Inc. contributed to this article.

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About the Author(s)

Mindy Ward

Editor, Missouri Ruralist

Mindy resides on a small farm just outside of Holstein, Mo, about 80 miles southwest of St. Louis.

After graduating from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural journalism, she worked briefly at a public relations firm in Kansas City. Her husband’s career led the couple north to Minnesota.

There, she reported on large-scale production of corn, soybeans, sugar beets, and dairy, as well as, biofuels for The Land. After 10 years, the couple returned to Missouri and she began covering agriculture in the Show-Me State.

“In all my 15 years of writing about agriculture, I have found some of the most progressive thinkers are farmers,” she says. “They are constantly searching for ways to do more with less, improve their land and leave their legacy to the next generation.”

Mindy and her husband, Stacy, together with their daughters, Elisa and Cassidy, operate Showtime Farms in southern Warren County. The family spends a great deal of time caring for and showing Dorset, Oxford and crossbred sheep.

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