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Large fertilizer plant planned near Brownton

United Farmers Cooperative (UFC), headquartered in Winthrop, is planning to build a large fertilizer plant near its grain-handling facility just northwest of Brownton.
Part of that project will include a potential merger with the Brownton Co-op Ag Center, which has a fertilizer facility just to the south of the proposed site.
Jeff Nielsen, general manager of UFC, and others appeared before the McLeod County Planning Commission Wednesday morning, Oct. 28, for a public hearing on a proposed conditional use permit (CUP) for the project.
Nielsen said the patrons of the two cooperatives still have to approve the merger, but plans are to utilize the existing Brownton Co-op Ag Center office building and warehouse to the south side of the TC&W railroad tracks, as well as build a new warehouse and fertilizer mixing plant on the north side, just south of the current UFC grain facility.
“We’ll use the assets of both facilities,” said Nielsen.
Nielsen said offices will be located in the current Brownton Co-op Ag Center building,  as well as an anhydrous station, which has a side rail from the TC&W tracks. The fertilizing mixing and storage will be done in new buildings north of the tracks.
“That way, we can keep customer traffic away from the production facilities,” said Nielsen. He added that TC&W has agreed to allow a private crossing over the railroad tracks between the two facilities.
Nielsen said the facility will include a 200-foot by 500-foot warehouse that will hold 58,000 tons of product. Brownton Co-op’s existing warehouse holds about 1,700 tons.
“That’s just to give you a comparison on how big this will be,” said Nielsen.

For more, see the Nov. 4 print edition of The Chronicle.