What is in this article?:
- Back from the brink
- Future plans
- Commercial Grain Marketing buys/operates facilities in Mississippi's Coahoma and Tallahatchie counties.
- Aim to expand rail facility to open markets.
COMMERCIAL GRAIN MARKETING GRAIN yard supervisors. The business has facilities in Mississippi’s Coahoma and Tallahatchie counties.
In Webb, where things are centralized, it’s a fair distance from the river. Farmers don’t have much alternative than to truck their grain to the river facilities. With the re-opened elevators, “they can move to a different sector and markets. Whatever is best for their bottom lines.”
What about expanding silo capacity?
“The Webb facility alone has a capacity of around 4 million. I believe that’s one the largest independent facility in the state. Along with that, the Minter City facility has a capacity of 400,000. The purchase of the Minter City elevator gave us the ability to service more counties including being closer to our end users.
“If the operation is run correctly, you’d turn that over twice. That’s a potential for a lot of business in the area.”
Any learning curve associated with the facilities was not terribly jolting, says Daven. “We were largely able to just hit the ground running. All four of the owners were well acquainted with the farmers who obtained services from Delta. We already had a customer base.
“So, we had a good base already in place. The demand was there.”
This year, Daven expect the facilities to be at 100 percent capacity.
“When we took the business over, the expertise was already in place.
“Two of the partners, Shelley Smith and Pete Willingham, were involved in the operation for many years . They already knew the facility -- the history, the maintenance needs, etc. There weren’t any big surprises so we were lucky.”
Producers haul grain in all the way from Yazoo City. “We have customers in Cleveland to Batesville, all of Tallahatchie County, some of Leflore and Coahoma counties.”
What will it take to get the rail facility up to speed?
“We have a small trucking fleet that has been moved to the old elevator. Our current plans are to expand the trucking fleet to accommodate the customer demand. That should be completed by July of 2014.
“We’re going to put in two 50,000-gallon holding tanks. Those will be used strictly for loading 25 railcars at a time. There will be a dump and scales.”
The primary focus currently, says Daven, “is to alleviate long waiting lines and offer our customers the best available prices for their products. If those two objectives are met, then we will have done our job.”