LATTY — For the first time in more than 20 years the Mercer Landmark Latty terminal grain elevator, located in Paulding County off Highway 613, has begun loading full unit trains. The grain facility, acquired by Mercer Landmark last July, has been undergoing major refurbishment to enable this new opportunity for the farmers in the surrounding community.

The Latty facility, which sits on a Norfolk Southern mainline, can load full unit trains in a 15-24 hour window. A unit train consists of 85-90 rail cars which can transport around 320,000 bushels of grain. The Mercer Landmark Grain Operations team, led by Latty facility grain superintendent Tyler Matthews, loaded the first unit train on April 20 and just completed the second one on May 4.

“The new facility at Latty opens up so many new opportunities and markets for the Mercer Landmark farmer,” stated Matthews. “It really allows us, as Mercer Landmark, to provide our farmers with better access to a better market value. There are times where some markets are better than they are here. This gives our farmers the opportunity for the best value and new routes to go.”

Soybeans from farms within the Paulding County area, as well as soybeans trucked in from other Mercer Landmark locations, were loaded on the first unit train that was headed to an export facility in Chesapeake, VA. There they will be offloaded onto an ocean vessel destined for Europe. Grain division manager and merchandiser, Kirk Roetgerman, who arranged for the delivery of the grain, said the second train was loaded with non-GMO soybeans and headed to Gainesville, GA — most likely to be used for poultry feed.

Mercer Landmark offers 22 locations within Northwest Ohio. The Latty Grain elevator is currently the only location within the company that allows for the loading of full unit trains. Roetgerman says, “The location and capacity at Latty, to load full unit trains, has opened access to new markets for our local growers. We can ship unit trains to Mobile, AL, giving us access to the export market out of the Gulf of Mexico, and reach the Southeast feed markets in Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina. The Norfolk Southern line also gives us the opportunity to supply corn into the New York ethanol industry and deliver to the eastern seaboard export ports.”

Heath Barnes, CEO of Mercer Landmark stated, “Our investment in upgrading the Latty Grain facility allows Mercer Landmark to continue to be a primary link connecting our local farming communities to the global food supply chain and accomplishing our mission to feed the world.”

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