Seed Plant Profile AFTER DOUBLING Taber Seed Cleaning Co-op’s seed processing capacity five years ago at its Fincastle location, Joe Hanson, the plant’s manager, thought he’d never need more. “Never say never,” he laughs. “At the time, I thought, ‘we’re never, ever going to need to increase capacity again.’” Only four short years later the plant at Fincastle couldn’t keep up with the demand for its services, so the co-op’s association was faced with a tough decision — up capacity or turn customers away. However, Hanson had taken the Fincastle plant as far as it could go, and turning customers away wasn’t an option either, he says. When he proposed building a second facility, the association board needed a little convincing. “When I first brought up building a new plant in Grassy Lake, they all looked at me like I was crazy. The problem was, if we didn’t keep our customers happy, somebody else would. If customers started going elsewhere with part of their crop, what’s to say they wouldn’t do that for all of it. That was my rationale. We needed to do something.” It took 13 months to build the new Taber Seed Cleaning Co-op Grassy Lake, which opened its doors last September. Hanson says running the two facilities, which are located 25 kilometers apart, keeps him on his toes. He says the plants work together to service the producers in the area. In addition to 30,000 bushels of storage, the new plant has increased the co-op’s total processing volume by one-third at 600 bushels per hour. The Fincastle plant has two lines each capable of cleaning 600 bushels an hour; the combined cleaning capacity of the two plants is up to 1,800 bushels of wheat per hour. State-of-the-art equipment also went into the Grassy Lake plant including an aspirator, an easy-to-clean indent, a destoner, and an upgraded colour sorter which can recognize shapes and sort hulled and non-hulled products. The equipment will step up the plant’s game when it comes to cleaning and separating seed. The Grassy Lake facility also has a mobile seed treater, so seed can be processed outside. The treater has also increased growers’ ease as it can be pulled up to a grower’s bin where seed can be A new seed processing facility at Grassy Lake opens its doors to specialty crops and more, including pedigreed seed. The Taber Seed Cleaning Co-op: Staying Ahead of Demand In addition to 30,000 bushels of storage, the new Grassy Lake plant has increased the co-op’s total processing volume by one-third. 46 | Advancing Seed in Alberta