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Lakes Area Cooperative to merge

Lakes Area Cooperative will merge to form a new company effective Jan. 1. Operations at the current locations in Perham will continue through the spring of 2011. Photo by Ashley Bergen.

Lakes Area Cooperative and Crop Production Services Incorporated will merge to form a new company effective Jan. 1.

The new company, called Professional Agronomy Services LLC, will include the agronomy department of Lakes Area Co-op with locations in Perham and Battle Lake, according to a news release issued last week.

The merger will also include Crop Production Services locations in Perham and Wadena.

Operations at all four locations will continue through the spring of 2011 and construction of a 10,000 ton fertilizer distribution facility will start in Perham at the LAC fertilizer site in June of 2011. Operation of the facility is expected in the spring of 2012, according to the release

Lakes Area Co-op was established in 1911 and expanded from its original roots as a dairy/creamery to other farm supply and retail businesses, such as feed, fertilizer, agriculture chemicals, processing and retailing-refined fuels, propane, convenience stores, motel, laundromat and other farm and home supplies.

The co-op serves the communities of Perham, Richville, Battle Lake, Vining, Clitherall, Henning, Vergas, Detroit Lakes, Underwood, New York Mills, Park Rapids, Akeley, Menahga, Sebeka, Wolf Lake, Bluffton, Ottertail and many others in north central Minnesota. Locations are in Perham, Battle Lake, Vergas, Dent, Menahga, Park Rapids, Ottertail and Wolf Lake.

Crop Production Services, headquartered in Colorado, has agronomy retail and wholesale throughout the United States and Canada.

"Both companies are extremely excited with the new Limited Liability Company...," according to the release. "The goal is to bring together the strengths of both companies employees, assets, experiences and gain some efficiencies/synergies."

With the merger, both companies expect to provide enhanced products and services to customers, according to the release.