Brandt Buys Morton Fertilizer, Expands Into Iowa

Brandt now has 27 ag retail locations. The company just announced it has acquired Morton Fertilizer, which did business as D&B Morton Fertilizer Service, Inc in Wyanet, Ill., and Du-Mor Crop Care in Grand Mount, Iowa. 

The acquisition not only increases Brandt’s Illinois footprint, but it also takes the company into Iowa for the first time. 

Tim McArdle, Brandt chief operating officer and executive vice president, and John Allen, Brandt vice president, will lead the integration of the Morton Fertilizer Companies into the Brandt Agronomic Services operating company.

"For Brandt retail, we're doing some expansion," McArdle says. "This takes us about an hour north of our previous closest store to Wyanet, and across the border into Iowa. Both areas have great customers and very productive farmland." 

McArdle notes acquisitions have helped built the Brandt retail network. This one had been in the works for more than five years. 

"It's my motto with acquisitions that we have no deserve to come in and change the things being done right. We want to enhance what you already do well and bring new opportunities," McArdle says. "Morton's business does a terrific job taking care of customers and providing trusted advice."

Critical mass and reach are two forces driving success in ag retail, McArdle adds, and independent ag retail looks a lot different than it did 20 or even 10 years ago. 

“We welcome Morton Fertilizer to the Brandt family,” Rick Brandt, CEO & President of Brandt said in a news release. “Gary Morton and his team at Morton Fertilizer share our values, putting agronomic service and trusted advice first. A family business, they were even founded the same year as Brandt: 1953.”

Gary Morton, owner of Morton Fertilizer, and his seven full-time employees will become members of Team Brandt immediately. Gary Morton will be manager of the Brandt Wyanet location. Morton Fertilizer was founded in 1953 by Don Morton, Gary’s father who then purchased the Iowa location in 1977.

“I’m excited that we now have certainty for the future with a company that shares our founding philosophy,” Gary Morton said in the news release. “Our whole team is thrilled to be part of the Brandt organization, as now we can provide an even higher level of customer care. But the real winners are our customers. Brandt Agronomic Services provides the best advice in the business and offers world-class input products. We know: We have been proud to carry Brandt Smart Trio for years.”

Current manager of the Ground Mound location, Mark Jacobs, will stay on as the plant manager. 

Brandt serves more than one million acres of production farmland. The company offers a range of services, including plant nutrients, crop protection products, precision ag, seeds and custom application.