Cargill bringing agronomy center to Benson area

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Cargill’s plans for an agronomy center on the site of the former GTI trucking terminal just north of the Swift County Environmental Services facility moved forward last week with approval of a conditional use permit.
Swift County’s board of commissioners unanimously approved the permit at its meeting Oct. 15. The permit allows Cargill to operate an agronomy center with fertilizer and chemical tanks at the site.
The permit had earlier been approved by the county planning commission following a public hearing, Environmental Services Director Scott Collins told commissioners. There was no opposition from township and no public opposition at the hearing, he added.
There will be no anhydrous ammonia tanks at the facility, Cargill’s Jimmy Williamson told commissioners.
He also told commissioners that Cargill works with North American Fertilizer (NAF.) It takes the ash rom nearby Fibrominn and processes it for fertilizer. “It is a natural fit for us,” said of the GTI site. “It is between our Gluek and Alberta facilities and is in the center of our trade area,” Williamson said.
In 2008, the City of Benson sold the 6.79-acre site to Viessman Trucking, which was working with Gibson Transport Inc. The companies were looking at working with Fibrominn on transport of turkey litter and woodchips. They built a truck terminal on the site with an office as well as truck repair facilities.
However, the Benson truck terminal was eventually closed and the site has been sitting vacant.
 “The agronomy center will help service our farmer customers in the West Central Minnesota area,” a letter to commissioners from Cargill states. “We will handle agricultural chemicals, liquid fertilizer, and seed.”
The existing building will be remodeled to include a containment area for bulk and package agricultural chemical as well as liquid fertilizers. A concrete dike will be installed adjacent to the building and will house six 30,000-gallon fiberglass liquid fertilizer tanks. A piping network along with an automation system will provide loan and unload delivery means. We also plan to install a truck platform scale on the grounds.
Work on the project is expected to be completed by next spring.

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