North Gower Grains expands again
NORTH GOWER ó The largest privately-owned elevator in Eastern Ontario is getting even bigger but it still might not be enough to fill the grain storage gap.
Dwight Fosterís North Gower Grains will have a new 7,000-tonne bin by the end of the summer, bringing the elevatorís total capacity to more than 57,000 tonnes. But with farmers clearing more land, acreage is also increasing.
"We are producing more grain in Eastern Ontario than we have capacity for," says John Lounsberry, an ag specialist with Champion Industrial Equipment, who takes care of grain handling and storage control systems for Foster.
"Driving down the road in the winter you see the corn still standing in the fields. Itís not because the farmer didnít have time to cut it. Itís because he didnít have a place to put it."
Thatís why Foster started the elevator. After the 2007 harvest, he left 400 acres of corn standing in the field. By next yearís harvest, Foster, who still plants 4,000 acres of corn, wheat and soybeans, had given the region an additional 19,000 tonnes of grain handling capacity. He approached Greenfield Ethanol in Johnstown and became their only purchasing agent, buying corn for delivery to his facility.
"In five years, Iíve not had one farmer who didnít sell at a profit," Foster says.