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The Importance of Matching Fertilizer Conveyor Systems with Material Applications

The global fertilizer industry is experiencing unprecedented growth. Prices are at record highs and demand for the valuable commodity continues to climb.

The need for increased production is straining existing facilities, especially those with older equipment. But the high demand also means there is potential for significant profits.

The Rising Price and Demand for Fertilizer

As of December 2022, potash has an average per-ton cost of $807.

At that astronomically high price, a medium-sized fertilizer operation experiencing unplanned downtime can easily lose hundreds of thousands of dollars of revenue in a matter of hours.

Even millions per day.

Most companies cannot afford this kind of setback. Thus, the pressure to maintain or increase production is enormous.

Global industry analysts project a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.89% from 2021-2030. Additionally, the overall market value is expected to be nearly $255 billion by 2030, up from $182 billion in 2021. This indicates an ongoing challenge as both price and demand continue to escalate for the foreseeable future.

Custom Conveyors Are Key for Operational Success

Conveyors are a critical component of any fertilizer facility.

A reliable conveyor, built for a specific application, can significantly reduce the risk of breakdowns. Because the manufacturer can spec out the right construction material and develop an effective design, the conveyor system will have a positive impact on production and profitability.

Many operations employ a general conveying system to handle dry, wet or caustic materials at volumes the system isn’t engineered to handle. This misapplication leads to failures and unplanned downtime. When it comes to the right conveyor design and materials, especially when facing demands for increased production, there is no universal approach.

While planned preventative maintenance schedules attempt to minimize the impact of production downtime, it is the unplanned interruption that can be costly—even catastrophic—for fertilizer operations.

This is why investing in a custom conveyor today can lead to big profits tomorrow.

Aligning Conveyor Construction with Material

Each fertilizer product has its own characteristics, but potash presents a unique challenge.

For example, wet potash is highly corrosive, so breakdowns are inevitable if the conveyor is older and not designed to handle this harsh material.

That is why it’s so critical to design your conveying system specifically to handle large volumes of corrosive or abrasive material.

Where off-the-shelf systems often fall short, custom designed conveyors provide long-term value by avoiding the problems with systems associated with 24/7/365 operations.

A successful conveyor design should always match your application, your facility and your material handling challenges. The right conveying system will:

  • Include design and construction for the materials being handled
  • Optimize the operating and design parameters for efficiency
  • Operate with efficiency, durability and ease of maintenance


From drag chain conveyors and bucket elevators to screw conveyors and feeders and gates, valves and diverters, CDM’s custom conveying system designs are available for any size fertilizer operation. CDM conveyors can successfully handle any type of fertilizer material, including urea, ammonium sulfate and phosphate, and potash. Our equipment features flexible chain formulas, durable materials and professional workmanship to deliver the efficiency and performance your fertilizer business needs to increase production and profits.


About CDM

The CDM story is about understanding that every industrial operation is different—as are their conveying challenges. A custom-engineered conveying system is a cost-effective approach to any operation willing to have a partner who is vested in your success and one who stands by their product.

CDM has earned more than 91 percent repeat business because we’re more than just a conveying systems manufacturer—we’re a business partner.

For additional information contact:

Andrew Parker, President CDM Systems, Inc.  •