L & D Ag Service continues to diversify

Published 10:02 am Thursday, August 11, 2016

The employees of L & D Ag Service are wrapping up their business year while they prepare for their upcoming busy season.

Travis Routh, one of the owners of the company, said one of the biggest parts of the business is manufacturing fertilizer equipment for corn planters, which the company sells across approximately 20 states. The establishment also sells sprayers and liquid fertilizer applicators, dry fertilizer applicators and ag electronics, including GPS units for data logging, auto steering and controls for dry and liquid fertilizer applicators and spray.

During harvest, the company tends to sell more fuel monitors for combines and auto steer units for tractors.

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The company is busiest as growers prepare for the planting season in January and February and then throughout the planting season.

L & D Ag Service's display lot features many types of equipment. It is located off Highway 13 in front of Alliance Energy in Hartland. - Kelly Wassenberg/Albert Lea Tribune

L & D Ag Service’s display lot features many types of equipment. It is located off Highway 13 in front of Alliance Energy in Hartland. – Kelly Wassenberg/Albert Lea Tribune

One day-to-day operation of the business is working to stay at the forefront of knowing what technological advances are out there to assist growers. Routh said GPS is becoming more advanced with the number of features offered on the devices quickly expanding.

“That’s where we excel is keeping up with these changes,” he said.

With every passing year, more people are taking advantage of the benefits GPS offers. Routh said there is only a small percentage of growers right now who do not use some type of GPS unit.

“It’s pretty widely adopted,” Routh said.

Some of these units help with guidance paths, and more advanced units can make it so the tractor will actually drive itself. Sometimes, people use them for recording data such as yields, where varieties are planted, where things are sprayed and for auto swath control, which reduces overapplication by minimizing overlap with both seed and spray, cutting down on product waste.

“We’re a small business and we specialize in things that not many other places do so we have expertise in things like this,” Routh said.

Another reason to consider L & D Ag Service when purchasing equipment is the service.

“We do believe in service. That’s why we put it in the name,” Routh said. “We feel we take pretty good care of our customers.”

L & D Ag Service was started by Larry Nelson in 1981. The business began as a general repair shop run off his parents’ property, but shortly after that the business moved to Freeborn. From there, the business expanded to sprayers, including spray equipment and spray controls. Around 1990, L & D Ag Service moved to Hartland, where it has continued to expand and it now has a display lot.

Nelson retired in July 2015, but still owns a minority share of the company. Routh and partner Matt Mithun own the controlling interest in the business.

“We’re trying to stay diversified cause some of these things run through their cycles and sell more than others,” Routh said of their future plans for the business.

L & D Ag Service’s main office is at 408 Broadway in Hartland. The business is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. These hours are often expanded in the fall and spring seasons. Customers are encouraged to call for hours during those seasons. The business can be reached at 507-845-2100.