Standing out against the sky on Sachsen Farms just south of Dalkeith on County Road 23 is an impressive new sight that bodes well for the local grain supply chain.
This summer, Theodore Finger and his son, Wilko, who farm 2,000 acres of cropland, added a new 54foot diameter, 3,500-3,800-tonne capacity bin and two grain elevators, a 125-footer and an 95-footer, to their already sprawling grain handling facility.
Work on the expansion began in late July with 30 men from Quebec installer CASA (Comptoir Agricole Ste-Anne) on site to erect the shiny new GSI bin, one of the tallest and highest capacity the Illinois, U.S., company offers.
Also new is a high capacity overhead for high-speed filling, a certified bulk weighing scale, and another large commercial storage bin added to their existing five grain bins.
The Fingers are especially proud that their operation and the family home largely operate on solar power.
“We provide our own power on a net metered basis; what we don’t use goes back into the grid and we get credits for it,” says Theodore Finger. “It basically takes care of 75 per cent of my total usage.”
The Fingers also have a solar system strictly for revenue on another of their farms and plan to add more solar installations in the future.
“Because of the solar, we can be very competitive in our pricing,” says Mr. Finger.
Mr. Finger holds a grain licence and the facilities are now open for business to dry and store grains and beans and also to purchase from farmers.
Until 2007, the Fingers ran a small dairy operation; in 2008 they lost the farm’s barn to a fire. From its foundation rose the growing collection of storage bins and a dryer and now the new elevators and other commercial grain handling equipment.
“This expansion is for the future and we already have plans and the designs for three more bins,” says Mr. Finger.
The facility is the only elevator in the area between Vankleek Hill and Lancaster and has attracted local customers but the Fingers intend to expand.
Mr. Finger says that his 22-yearold son Wilko’s determination to be a career farmer convinced him to make the investment.
“Wilko is the main operator of the farm and I take care of the elevator,” says Mr. Finger. “We’re are actually in a very good location here because the St. Lawrence River is nearby for international shipping and we have big consumers and big ports nearby.”
NEW ELEVATOR: Grain dealer Theodore Finger stands in front of the new grain elevator and other grain handling equipment that now sit on his farm.