Ag Retail's One-Stop-Shop For Facilities

With a series of acquisitions and 16 years under his belt at Precision tank, David Hemming is a go-to resource for how ag retailers’ needs for facility construction have changed. As CEO it’s been his vision for the last five years to bring together assets and resources to be a one-stop shop for ag retailers’ facility needs, and Precision Tank is a far different company than 16 years ago. Here's a C-Suite Q&A from The Scoop:

What are those mega-trends driving changes in ag retail’s physical footprint? 
Everything is bigger than it was. Spray units are bigger. What used to be a 2,500-gal nurse tank, it’s now 3,300 or larger. We’ve built nurse tanks on trailers as big as 5,200 gal. 

There used to be an ag retail plant every 10 miles, and now plants are going to a 30-mile radius. The trend in retail ag plants is bigger and better with a hub and spokes model. 

On the field erected side, change happened quickly when people went from earthen dikes to poly liners. Now, 80% of our tanks are liner tanks. 

We started building fiberglass tanks in 2010 at our factory in Indiana, and there’s been such a major shift from mild steel toward fiberglass, we built a copy-cat plant in Iowa in 2014. 

So what does the typical ag retail plant look like today? 
The standard setup buildings are 80’ wide by 150’ long with 2 truck bays. The 80’ widths allows for a semi with the door closed. There are 12 stainless chemical tanks at least 5,000 gal each. Outside, for liquid fertilizers there are four to six 30,000 gal. tanks plus a field erected tank for 32% or UAN that is anywhere from 500,000 gal to 2 million gal. There’s also an anhydrous depot. 

But there’s no cookie cutter approach, right? 
Each installation is still fairly unique even within the same company. The local plant manager has quite a bit of input. Each one is different than the other–each one is a custom build. And so, we keep a team of sales people on the road who can go to the customers and help determine their real needs. 

At the end of the day, every retailer knows they must supply timely application for everything that needs to be done in-season. And at the same time ag retailers have to roll with regulations---including everything environmental and for example, dicamba. 

What’s been the driving factor in the recent acquisitions for Precision Tank? 
We bought A&B Welding, now Precision Liquid Construction, and then we started to talk to the Tampa Tank team three years ago. Merging our companies didn’t happen overnight, and I’m glad it didn’t because we really know each other. So under the umbrella of Precision Build, we are virtually a one-stop shop. We can provide the shop-built tanks, the plumbing and piping, the field erected tanks, and work with subcontractors for buildings and concrete. Companies like making one phone call. 

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