Opened in 1997, the plant at that time featured 12 bulk storage bins with 50,000 bushel capacity, a 1,000 bushel per-hour conditioning tower, warehouse capacity for 400,000 units (bags of bean seed), 18 full-time employees, and drawing from 24,000 acres of beans throughout the area, producing 1.1 million units produced annually.
Ten years later, the Cherokee Pioneer Hi-Bred Production Plant features 12 bulk storage bins with 50,000 bushel capacity, 26,000 Proboxes cleaned and inspected, a 1,000 bushel per-hour conditioning tower, doubled warehouse capacity of 800,000 units, a doubled work force of 35 full-time employees and 10 summer employees, drawing from a more-than-doubled 56,000 acres of beans from throughout the area, producing more-than-doubled 2.8 million units produced.
Grower premiums now exceed $2 million annually, according to the Johnston-based agricultural giant.
Serving the Cherokee operation and its sales representatives are 225 soybean growers from throughout Western Iowa, Southeast South Dakota, and Nebraska. Seed is now produced in 18 counties in Iowa, two in South Dakota, and three in Nebraska.
In addition, the Cherokee plant completed warehouse additions in 1998, 1999, and 2005 to bring the unit capacity from 400,000 to 800,000 since the initial 1997 plant opening.
A seed treater was added in 2006, as the Cherokee Pioneer plant marches into the future with its eyes on growth and continued, outstanding success.