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Dr Jörg Zimmermann provides customized storage solutions in Canada

By Erminia Ciarleglio, DLG

About 1.5 years ago, Dr. Jörg Zimmermann and his partner took over the company Hi Tech Installations that works as a general contractor for fertilizer storage and blending systems. Customers are companies that have crop input wholesale and retail facilities, who sell who sell inputs such as fertilizer, PPPs, fuels, etc. to farmers. Since the farms are only about two to three weeks in the field for seeding in spring and apply all the fertilizer for the season, high capacities are required to satisfy the needs of ever growing farms and help them solve their logistical problems during this time of the year. Hi Tech Installations provides customized and highly efficient solutions, for example: the company’s systems load a truck with 42 t of farm-specific fertilizer mixture in around 15 minutes.

Mr. Zimmermann, please tell me about your company, what is it about and who are your costumers? What makes the company so unique?

Hi Tech Installations provides customized fertilizer storage, handling and blending facilities for crop retailers in Canada, mainly in the Western Prairie Provinces Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta, where most of Canada’s arable farmland is located. Our Motto is:

  • ON BUDGET, and

For our customers the most important time of the year is in spring during seeding time. This is high time and our customers expect that they can operate their new plant in this time. If we are only a few weeks late finishing the construction projects, our customers could potentially loose a whole season. This is not acceptable, and we would lose our reputation very quickly. For this reason, we will only take on projects, we know we can finish on time.

We believe that our uniqueness is providing solutions specifically tailored to our customer’s needs – from greenfield facilities to retrofits and upgrades of existing facilities.

How does DLG membership help you in business decisions?

DLG membership provides me with high level, strategic insights into agriculture worldwide and Europe, specifically in Germany. Some of the trends Europe went through some years ago, we see more and more here in Canada. An example would be to apply more targeted fertilizers tailored to every crop based on field specific soil samples. This trend will require more sophisticated fertilizer blending and impregnation facilities to provide farmers with these, often field specific blends. As opposed to Europe, the majority of fertilizer is applied with the seed in spring, which in turn requires high throughput facilities to cater to the needs of the farmers.

I have always valued DLG for the strategic insights, for innovation and for their focus on farm business management.

What developments do you observe in Western Canadas agriculture?

Due to larger field and farm sizes, the farms in Western Canada are very efficient if it comes to operations. The utilization of large equipment is the main reason for this. From international benchmarking data ( I know that Western Canadian farmers are leading the pack.

However, the direct costs per ton of production is usually not as favorable. Production needs to be finetuned. I see this happen: For examples growth regulators are now being used more frequently as well as the application of micronutrients.

Climate change, trade deals, growing water scarcity, what are the challenges?

The majority of farmers here in Western Canada are producers of commodities. Commodity farming is generally a low margin business. My main concern is the raising debt level on farm and the foreign exchange fluctuations. Low margins can be eaten up very quickly.

What differences do you see between German and Western Canadian agriculture?

More intensive production in Germany vs. more operationally efficient production on larger fields/farms here in Western Canada.

And, Canadian producers are in general further away from their end users.


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