FAIRFAX, Minnesota — Agtegra Cooperative has expanded its service area to reach rural customers in 60 communities throughout North and South Dakota. One of those communities is Harrold, S.D., home of the Harrold Municipal Airport, site of Agtegra’s new crop spraying hangar, complete with two hydraulic doors from Schweiss Doors.
The Harrold airport, with its 2,250′ by 200′ asphalt runway, is just one of Agtegra’s success and growth stories. The cooperative has expanded its custom air crop spraying operations to a seven-plane fleet that operates out of the Huron, Highmore, Clark, Webster and Miller areas.
The cooperative purchased its first Schweiss door in 2011, a 70′ by 14′ bifold with liftstraps. Recently, Agtegra contacted Schweiss to purchase two 70′ by 14′ one-piece hydraulic doors to attach at each end of a new 100′ by 140′ crop spraying steel hangar built by Leimbach Construction of Fort Pierre, S.D. Openings at both ends of the new agricultural hangar makes loading and taxiing in and out a real timesaver as the hangar allows crews to load two planes at the same time.
“We appreciate the efficiency the doors give us,” says Craig Bair, director of the Agtegra Aerial business. “Driving planes through the hangar beats turning them around and loading outside. We have one quick-fueling system with two loading hoses. Everything remains inside, away from the elements and properly secured.”
The Schweiss hydraulic doors are not centered on the endwalls.
“We set them over about 8-10′ in that big building,” Bair says. “That gave us way more loading storage room on one side. Because we have bulk chemicals in the hangar, that also allows us to drive semis in and out.”
Bair, like many pilots, is not new to Schweiss Doors products and appreciates the simplicity of the company’s hydraulic one-piece style of door because there are fewer moving parts.
“The Schweiss hydraulic doors are trouble-free, well-built and solid,” he says. “They just work extremely well. Our Schweiss doors can withstand 40 mph winds and don’t move. They are a solid choice.”
Bair also was pleased with Schweiss service. “We’ve always had good support,” he says. “We had an electrical glitch on an old door and they were always really good about getting somebody to us and telling us what to do. Tech support has been really good.”
At the busiest time of the year, the staff at Agtegra Aerial works hard on the ground and in the air to deliver timely aerial applications. As summer progresses, the pilots conduct aerial applications of fungicides, insecticides and foliar feeds. Spraying from the skies is a fast, efficient option for critical applications.
The Agtegra Aerial fleet includes two Air Tractor 502s, two Air Tractor 402s, an Air Tractor 602, an Air Tractor 802 and a Piper Brave.
“Our aerial fleet continues to be a great complement to our ground rigs,” Bair says. “We can treat by air when weather/soil conditions are unfavorable. Plus, there’s a growing usage for aerial application of plant health products like fungicides and CoRon.”
Leimbach Construction, an authorized installer of Schweiss doors, received an honorable mention award from Chief Buildings for its work on the Agtegra hangar.