Deerfield AG Services will undergo major renovations to improve services

Photo by Deerfield Ag Services

Deerfield Ag Services is set to embark on a $2.3 million project that, when complete, will significantly speed up delivery and unloading times for its farmer customers, the company announced last week.

Construction on the facility layout changes and new grain-handling equipment will begin in March at the company’s headquarters in Deerfield as well as its Massillon location. The project is expected to be completed before the wheat harvest in July.

Current grain-handling facilities for all commodities will remain open during construction.

“Time is money for our customers, and we want our farmers to spend less time in line dumping grain and more time in the fields,” Deerfield Ag Services Grain Superintendent Steve Ramseyer said. “These improvements will drastically improve the efficiency of our operations and get farmers back to what matters most to them.”

The updates will include several major components at the Deerfield and Massillon locations and will eliminate the need to store soybeans in temporary polyethylene bags at both.

The Deerfield headquarters location will undergo some reconfiguring as well as receive new grain-handling equipment and storage, including:

Wheat Pit and Grain Leg: Deerfield will install a new large dump pit, which can hold a semi-load of wheat, as well as move the existing corn leg to the wheat area. This will speed wheat unloading from 3,000 bushels/hour to 7,000 bushels/hour.

Corn Pit: The project will include installation of a new 15,000 bushel/hour corn leg, which will more than double current unloading speed. Pit auger and overhead conveyor capacity will be increased accordingly.

Grain Bin Capacity: Deerfield will add 414,000 bushels of storage in a 90-foot-diameter bin in the field east of the current bean complex by the container loadout scales. This component will start with concrete in March, and the bin will be erected in April. The grain bin addition will help eliminate the need for storage bags at this location.

K&S Millwrights will install the wheat and corn area updates, and TAM Systems will install the grain bin.

At Massillon, DAS will add a conveyor to its container auger. This will move the augers 15 feet away from the rail to allow containers to be loaded five days a week and still allow the railroad to move cars without interruption.

This update will allow Deerfield Ag Services to load export containers at the Massillon facility in the fall instead of Deerfield. In the late fall, DAS will move container loading back to Deerfield to allow Massillon to build inventory for unit train rail shipments. This will help eliminate the need for storage bags at the Massillon location as well.

“We pride ourselves on doing all we can do to keep accepting all grains from farmers at all times through harvest, whether it is bagging or transferring from one facility to another or — now this year — adding space,” Ramseyer said.

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Tom Hardesty is a Portager sports columnist. He was formerly assistant sports editor at the Record-Courier and author of the book Glimpses of Heaven.