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Do the math on a fertilizer backhaul

Read Time: 4 minutes

By Colin Bergstrom August 12, 2021

Why drive home empty when you could return with a load?


What are the two most precious commodities in your farm business? After your family, partners and employees it’s probably time and money. Here’s a way to save both starting today.

Cargill is set to open a new, state-of-the-art fertilizer distribution centre in Camrose, Alberta adjacent to our canola crush plant. This facility, with 35,000 MT storage capacity, has been located and designed with farms like yours in mind. When delivering canola to the crush plant, there is no need to drive home empty. Instead, after making your grain delivery, you can now take advantage of picking up fertilizer seamlessly as part of the same trip, saving time and fuel.

Backhauling fertilizer after delivering canola translates into significant cost savings. In fact, we’ve calculated that this becomes more significant the further from the facility you get.  


Here’s the math: The value of an empty return trip from Camrose is approximately $7.30/MT for trips up to 100 km; $11.30/MT for 100-150 km trips; and $13.50/MT for 150-200 km trips.* In addition to the freight savings, you can also use time more efficiently, spending fewer hours in transit and more time focused on your operation.


The whole experience is focused on convenience because you’ve already made a commitment to drive to the crush facility for your scheduled drop-off time. Through our online appointment portal, you can also arrange to pick up your choice of fertilizer from our wide selection. As you transition from the crush plant to the fertilizer centre, use the designated and safe truck cleanout area to clear out any potential canola seed residue. Drivers can reach truck boxes from a platform and use an air wand to remove seed from all corners to avoid potential contamination.

With industry-leading building and fertilizer handling technology, this new distribution centre allows for some of the fastest load times in Alberta. It can take as little as 15 to 20 minutes for blended or straight products so you can get back on the road as quickly as possible.

To learn how you can save with a fertilizer backhaul, or to book a load of fertilizer, reach out to your local Cargill representative.


*Savings calculated based on the empty value assumption of 85% from farm to our crush plant. 

Colin headshot

Colin Bergstrom

Colin is a regional crop inputs leader for Cargill in Alberta. He has over 22 years of industry experience, mainly in precision agriculture, where he connected the dots between the equipment, agronomy and data to provide value to farmers. He also has experience in farming, and seed and crop protection. Colin’s passion for agriculture and agronomy stems from a systems approach to the farm and he is always excited to take opportunities and practically implement them with farmers to provide additional value to their operations.