GRANDVIEW — Bleyhl Co-op is expanding its fertilizer operations with the construction of a new plant in Grandview.

That plant is expected to be complete by January, CEO Dan Morano said.

It will be located next to the agronomy office on East Wine Country Road and will be able to blend 200 tons of fertilizer per hour as opposed to the current operations in Sunnyside, which blends 24 tons per hour.

After much consideration regarding the size and age of the facility in Sunnyside, which has been in operation nearly 50 years, as well as considerations for growth, the Bleyhl Board of Directors determined there was a need for a new facility, officials said.

Employees of the plant in Sunnyside will transfer to the new facility, while other agronomy will remain at the current one.

“We will continue to offer crop protection products in Sunnyside, including herbicides, fungicides and insecticides, and bagged fertilizer,” Morano said.

The fertilizer business has grown nearly 30 percent in the past few years, and measures to meet the demand could only do so much.

“Once you get above 4,000 tons, the return on construction costs become smaller and smaller,” Board member Archie Den Hoed said in regard to the agreed upon 6,480-ton plant to be built.

The facility will include automated batch processing and radiant heating to control moisture and clumping issues, which Agronomist Jay Castle says is a welcome change.

He said, “The new plant will make us a stronger co-op.”

Contracted for the project is Stueve Construction, which is experienced with such projects.

Automated blenders, micro-bins and direct integration with software upgrades are all part of the project.

Jennie McGhan can be contacted at 509-837-4500, ext. 114 or email JMcGhan@sunnysidesun.com

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