“We buy the seed by the ton, which is 2,000 pounds, and we sell 1,930 pounds worth of products, so the only thing that’s lost is a little bit of dirt and sticks and rocks that come in with the seed. So there’s no waste,” Rose said.
He said even the field trash is used.
“We separate the foreign matter in the cleaning room where the seed is fed over seed cleaners, which are large shaker trays with holes in them to allow the seed to pass through but sift off the foreign matter. We collect this material and then sell it for a very nominal fee to landscape companies in Oklahoma City and they use it to make compost. So there is essentially nothing wasted and nothing that goes to a landfill or has to be disposed of,” Rose said.
With canola, he said, the foreign matter is even cleaner. It’s collected, he said, and “when we have enough, we pass it through a grinder and pellet mill, then sell to livestock producers as a low-protein ingredient for their feed rations. There is always more demand for these pellets than we have.”
Producers Cooperative is an industrial plant. But it seems almost green compared to lots of others. It just goes to show: You can’t tell what your neighbors are up to by the look of their place.