Corn Growers Director: Chemical plant explosion is going to hurt farmers in the fall

The plant produced grease for farm machinery. (Photo courtesy: HOI/ABC)

By Blake Haas

BLOOMINGTON – Harvest season is just around the corner, and the top leader of the Corn Growers Association, a fire in Northern Illinois this past June, will hurt farmers all across the state.

In June, the Chemtool plant in Rockton, Illinois, accidentally exploded, causing the plant to be a total loss.

Rodney Weinzierl, executive director of the Illinois Corn Growers Association, says the plant produced around 50% of the grease farmers use on machinery.

“I know there was a really bad fire up in Rockford here a number of weeks ago, and there’s been a lot of issues around, you know, whether there’s what kind of pollution or toxins were released. But, you know from a farmers perspective, you know, you kind of feel bad for what happened up there to the workers and the factory and all that. But, here not too recently, that that factory produced a lot of the grease that’s used in the machinery area.

We need grease for combine heads and barring’s and all kinds of things.”

Weinzierl told WJBC’s Marc Strauss that farmers would encounter a shortage of parts in the fall.

“And that’s going to be another shortage that we’re going to have this fall besides trying to find parts for equipment is gettin’ our hands-on grease so that the equipment can stay lubricated and stay running.”

In addition, the nation is facing a chip shortage that is causing machinery production to stand at a standstill.

Blake Haas can be reached at Blake.Haas@Cumulus.com.

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