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For the soil's sake: Terra International at Blytheville is working for farmers and the environment.

The term "dry flowable" might seem like an oxymoron, but to Charlie Shive it makes perfect sense.

Terra International Inc., based at Sioux City, Iowa, is one of the nation's leading producers of fertilizer, seeds and other agricultural service products.

Shive, 48, manages Terra's Blytheville plant. He says dry flowables -- or granular products -- are safer and more economical than the liquid products most farmers have used.

"The dry flowables are easier to transport," says Shive, a 20-year veteran of the industry.

Chemical spills are a possibility, and ground seepage is a threat.

With dry flowable products, little more than a broom is needed to clean up spills.

"And you don't need heated warehouses in the winter because |dry flowables~ won't freeze," Shive says.

The Blytheville plant produces a variety of herbicides, insecticides and fungicides in addition to fertilizers. It is one of seven plants that Terra operates in the United States.

Good For Mother Earth

With more stringent federal regulations governing agricultural products, companies such as Terra are becoming more environmentally conscious.

By using dry flowable products, which are packed in paper containers, farmers eliminate the need for plastic jugs. Jugs that once held liquid chemicals are difficult to dispose. The jugs require extensive rinsing before they can be shredded.

"This does away with the containers," Shive says. "Dry flowables are more concentrated, easier to handle and container residue is greatly reduced."

Since dry flowables are not flammable like their liquid counterparts, farmers are not forced to pay high insurance premiums.

Granular products cost about the same as liquid products, according to Shive.

"The problems we're having are with farmers accepting the dry flowables," he says.

That reluctance may be difficult to overcome, considering that more than half the country's farmers use liquid agricultural products.

"That is going to be changing," Shive says. "Our goal is to be the supplier of choice for the farmers while showing good stewardship for the land."
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Author:Taylor, Tim
Publication:Arkansas Business
Date:Jun 1, 1992
Words:322
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