DeSchepper Farm Supply
Over the last several decades, the face of agriculture in America has changed dramatically. As precision-ag and hybrids drive higher yields and faster production, producers need more storage and bigger handling equipment; this is where companies such as DeSchepper Farm Supply come in. Based in Wyatt, Indiana, DeSchepper has been supporting producers with quality farm services and equipment throughout northern Indiana and southern Michigan for 50 years.
“In the ’80s we thought there was all the grain storage ever needed already on the farm and things were fairly slow, but through the ‘90s we started to see skyrocket growth,” says Dennis DeSchepper, co-owner of the family-run business with his brother, Donald DeSchepper.
Through this progressive growth and increased technology, DeSchepper has stood by its customers, supporting them with a full line of grain bins, portable dryers, top-dry bins and material handling products from world-leading Grain Systems Inc. (GSI). DeSchepper is also a full-line dealer for David Manufacturing Company (DMC) drying and conveying equipment, including grain stirrators, grain flows and pneumatic transfer systems.
Family ties and major partnerships
DeSchepper started as favor to a local farming friend many years ago and has grown into a full-fledged grain handling erection and service business for farmers and elevators throughout the region. “My father started the business back in the 1950s,” shares Dennis. “He worked for an international harvesting dealer in Mishawaka, and when they closed the doors, there was a lot of equipment that guys were still looking for. They called my father and he got into the short line implement business.”
At first, the company sold parts for corn elevators. “We slowly moved from ear corn mechanization to shelled corn, from elevators to augurs and gravity wagons and it wasn’t long before we started selling American grain dryers,” details Dennis.
By 1977, DeSchepper landed the opportunity to sell Brock grain bins and eventually formed a partnership with GSI. Located in Assumption, Illinois, GSI is the world’s largest manufacturer of steel farm grain bins, commercial storage grain bins and grain dryers. The company also offers a large selection of material handling systems, including grain bin sweeps, spreaders, chain-loop systems, bucket elevators, chain conveyors, enclosed-belt conveyors, support towers and catwalks.
“Adding the GSI line of equipment to our business allowed DeSchepper to grow and handle larger projects,” adds Dennis. “Over the years, we have also added Lambton bucket elevators and conveyors, Johnson Systems support towers, Hutchinson grain augers and parts, drying equipment from Shivvers and grain handling products from Kongsklide.”
Custom fab and construction services
Dennis says that farms all across northern Indiana and southern Michigan are expanding. “Just about every farm you set foot on is going to need an addition or renovation; it’s very rare you start a grain system from scratch, but it does happen occasionally,” he says. “The bulk of our business is changing out older dryers and making room for more efficient equipment and increased capacity.”
DeSchepper’s in-house custom metal fabrication shop allows the company to build its own line of auger accessories, valves, adjustable augers, hoppers, support towers, bucket elevators and transition equipment. “We sell some of this all over the country and custom fab is certainly something that sets us apart,” adds Dennis. “Our manufacturing capabilities include in-house custom metal fabrication, precise metal forming and precision plasma cutting, as well as custom welding and repair work.”
DeSchepper’s construction services include quality grain bin erection, millwright fabrication, custom concrete installation and crane service, all backed by exceptional service. “With the products we sell and install, our customers want to know there’s someone there to keep it all up and running,” says Dennis.
“We run two service crews all year long,” he adds. The DeSchepper service department offers preseason and in-season service on portable dryers, bin drying equipment, as well as other bin repairs needed during the busy harvesting season.
The DeSchepper team is currently running with a staff of 12 people, but Dennis says the company can quickly ramp up when needed. “It really depends on the time of year; last summer we were up to about 35 employees because we have at least five projects going at any given time,” notes Dennis.
“We did a large renovation for Brook view Farms in New Paris last summer,” details Dennis. “Our crews added more storage and put in all new dry grain handling equipment. We added new bucket elevators and four new drag conveyors; it was about a two-month project.”
Dennis doesn’t see the construction and service side slowing anytime soon. “In the last 12 years, business has been fantastic and it may be a little slower this year than last, but not by much,” he measures. “As long as more hybrid varieties keep rolling out higher yields, there will be a need for more storage and handling.”
In a changing agricultural landscape, family-run DeSchepper Farm Supply continues to support northern Indiana and southern Michigan growers, helping them stack up to the competition.