Trucks will be loaded from the overhead scale bin. Photos by Emily Jaycox

Ponoka Fertlizer adds new system to serve customers more efficiently

Ponoka Fertilizer is announcing an exciting new expansion that will allow them to service their customers much more efficiently, and with greater capacity.

There are some finishing touches still to complete, but the business’s new volume metric blending and storage system will be up and running by spring, says owner Dan Lea.

“It’s a pretty nice, simple system,” said Lea.

The new system was a significant investment, but Lea is confident it will be worth it.

The services Ponoka Fertilizer provides to its customers will remain the same, but will be much faster. The new system will also allow for easier manoeuvring of large vehicles being loaded, and they hope to eliminate lineups.

The system blends different types of fertilizer — up to nine different ingredients in one batch.

Construction on the system began in August. It consists of six large bins connected by an auger, as well as three other micro bins, to allow for a total of nine ingredients.

The volume metric blending system mixes as it transfers material out of the bins, blends it to specifications the customer desires, and then conveys it to the overhead scaled bin. It’s then ready to drop into the farmer’s truck and is field-ready.

The old system was labour-intensive and could only blend eight tons at a time, or 500 tons in a day — the new superior capacity can blend 50 tons at a time, and 200 tons per hour.

The new system includes a control centre with six electrical boxes and a main control on the first floor as well as some storage space, and a control room on the top floor with a view of the loading area.

A customer enters their order in the office, it’s relayed to a computer in the control room, and the order is then entered in and the system goes to work.

There are also traffic lights for the trucks coming in and a scale ticket printer.

The new system will allow Ponoka Fertilizer to keep up with growing demand and to accommodate equipment that is getting ever larger.

“They don’t make small equipment and farm and acre sizes are only getting bigger,” said Lea.

Ponoka Fertilizer was founded in 1992 and is locally owned and operated.

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Owner Dan Lea in the control room on the top floor.

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