2022 Southwest Fertilizer Conference

Monolithic Constructors, nc. displayed photos of domed fertilizer storages at the Southwest Fertilizer Conference in 2022.

The Monolithic Constructors, Inc., vendor booth at the 2022 Southwest Fertilizer Conference held in Nashville, Tennessee. The booth saw plenty of foot traffic over two days, and we held quite a few one-on-one meetings.

Mike South

Monolithic attended the Southwest Fertilizer convention for the fifth time this year. It’s a great conference to network with fertilizer producers and resellers. The Monolithic Dome has many advantages — but keeping the material dry during storage interested people the most.

Most dry fertilizers are hygroscopic—which means the fertilizer granules absorb water. When granules absorb water, a few things can happen:A fertilizerizer mixture that gets wet can destroy the concrete floors. I’ve seen concrete floors underneath a wet fertilizer mixture that look like dirt floors because the top inch of concrete is gone.

When stored in tall piles, the material can “cake.” When the material cakes, it becomes difficult and often dangerous to retrieve.

Last but not least, product loss. Businesses cannot sell the wet product.

The ability to store fertilizer in a dome where it can be easily kept dry for long periods provides the owner with a decisive strategic advantage. In the case of urea, it’s often cheaper to buy in the off-season. If a company can buy low and store it safely over the winter, it can sell the product for a wider profit margin in the spring. One customer of ours commented that the cost saving would pay for the dome in one year!

I have to mention fire safety, coming from a small town in Texas just a few miles away from West, TX. Domes will not burn. Ammonium Nitrate stored in a dome is the safest way to store the material. PERIOD. It’s a common misconception that ammonium nitrate is explosive on its own. Every explosion with ammonium nitrate is a perfect storm of poor storage conditions and an old wooden building that is burning down around it. Keep it dry in a concrete dome, and it will be safe through any fire that it may be exposed to.