The town of Sexsmith is to become the central hub for fertilizer production in northern Alberta thanks to a partnership called “Bridgeland” between two cooperatives – UFA Co-operative Limited and the American company CHS. The partnership will result in the building of an anhydrous ammonia fertilizer blending facility in the RedTail Business Park in Sexsmith. The facility is projected to meet the needs of farmers north of Mayerthorpe.
UFA President and CEO, Carol Kitchen, said that “the partnership with CHS will provide the customers here in the Peace Region with new opportunities for agriculture. Specifically, that will include a comprehensive offer for crop inputs including fertilizer, chemicals, seed, and probably most importantly, advisory services in bringing high quality services and recommendations to our customers in this part of the province”. CHS is the biggest agricultural cooperative in North America, one of the largest fertilizer wholesalers and the fifth-largest retailer in the United States. The company began to be moving into the Canadian market in 2012 and it has so far managed to set up its operations in Alberta and Saskatchewan and a grain buying office in Winnipeg.
Tim Miller, CHS Vice-President for the Mountain Region for country operations, explained that the company’s plan was to eventually expand across Canada. The construction of the plant is currently ongoing despite the fact that the partnership between the two firms is still not yet finalized. The plant is expected to open next year and it is not yet clear how many jobs the project will generate.
Mr Miller, however, added that the plant would “bring value to the intelligence side of fertilizer, crop protection, seed, and fertilizer. The supply of fertilizer has changed around the world in the last several years. Our crop nutritious division has supply agreements and source in more than 20 countries around the world to make sure that we have a staple supply of fertilizer, so that market intelligence, I feel, will be very useful in this area,” said Miller.