Columbia Grain, Simplot to build rail terminal

by Jeff Gelski
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CRYSTAL, N.D. — Columbia Grain and the J.R. Simplot Co. have joined forces to create a rail distribution and storage terminal in Crystal that is scheduled for completion in March.

“I feel there will be advantages for both companies by offering competitive grain bids and crop nutrients at the same location, and our customers will see benefits, too,” said Tom Hammond, president and chief executive officer of Columbia Grain, a grain exporter based in Portland, Ore., with operations in six western states.

Columbia Grain’s storage facilities will have a maximum one-time capacity of 1.3 million bus. The Simplot facility will hold 26,000 tons of dry crop nutrients. Storage facilities of the two companies may accommodate 120-car shuttle trains at one time. In the future Simplot plans to add seed storage facilities to the operation, said Dave Dufault, head of the Simplot Grower Solutions network of farm services stores in the West and Midwest.

The J.R. Simplot Co., a privately held agribusiness company based in Boise, Idaho, has an integrated portfolio that includes phosphate mining, fertilizer manufacturing, farming, ranching and cattle production, food processing, food brands, and other enterprises related to agriculture.

“I think our involvement in this new operation reinforces to our customers that Simplot is totally committed to agriculture and food production,” Mr. Dufault said. “As a leader in the grain business, Columbia Grain is the perfect partner for us.”

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