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Published February 04, 2013, 10:57 AM

More to store than grain

Canadian company sells storage tanks for fertilizer

By: Jonathan Knutson, Agweek

MINOT, N.D. — U.S. and Canadian farmers are accustomed to buying bins to store grain. A Canadian company hopes producers and agricultural retail outlet stores will buy stainless steel tanks to store fertilizer, too.

“There’s long-term value in all of our products. That’s why we do stainless steel,” says Brent Friesen, the company’s sales manager. “You set it up once on your farm and you’re done with it.”

Friesen attended the recent KMOT Ag Expo in Minot, N.D., where he talked with Agweek.

Novid — the name combines two Latin words that mean “new vision” — was launched about 10 years ago in Canada by brothers Chuck and Rudy Brandt. The company is based in Rosenort, Manitoba, about 30 miles south of Winnipeg.

Novid expanded into the United States about 1.5 years ago. It operates today in North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota, and “will go wherever business leads us,” Friesen says.

“We’re still relatively new down here,” he says. “We’re really looking forward to our expansion.”

Buying fertilizer when it’s relatively cheap and storing it until it’s needed is one reason to buy the storage tanks, Friesen says.

“You buy it at the right time. You’re in control of when you buy it,” he says.

“Logistics is another big part of it. Some years you have trouble getting the product (fertilizer) to the farmyards. Customers who have it in storage, have it when they need it,” he says.

Tanks for storing liquid fertilizer come in sizes ranging from 5,000 to 105,000 gallons, The cost of buying a tank starts at 67 cents per gallon and goes up based on a tank’s size, Friesen says.

Contact the company for information on the cost of tanks for storing dry fertilizer: www.novid.ca.

The wide range of tank sizes attracts interest from producers who operate farms big and small, Friesen says.

“We’re suitable for just about everyone,” he says.

Novid sells tanks to ag retail outlet stores as well as farmers.

The company recommends that its tanks be placed on concrete, but they can be put on “a good solid gravel pad, too,” Friesen says.

The tanks provide year-round storage and don’t crack or split in winter, he says.

Novid’s tanks utilize “what’s called a butt-welded joint, a welding process that ensures the tank is built in the strongest way possible. It’s the key feature to our tanks,” he says.

The rising popularity of corn and canola in both the Upper Midwest and Canada has strengthened demand for fertilizer, helping Novid, he says.

The strength of the farm economy in both countries also has helped Novid, he says.

“When ag is strong, that’s when everyone is doing their best,” he says.

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