Facility Feature
Central Valley Ag Recovers from Storm in Two Phases to Remain Open for Business

An overhead view of the rebuilding project at Central Valley Ag's Humphrey, NE location. Two new storage tanks are front and center.

Fast rebuild in Nebraska adds pair of steel grain storage tanks, Infrastructure

HUMPHREY, Neb. — In July 2018, high-speed storm winds tore through the Central Valley Ag (CVA) elevator at Humphrey, NE (402-923-1383). Lost were five steel storage tanks, a dryer, and two legs.

“It was in the evening, and no one was there at the time,” says Location Manager Michael Bayer, who has been at Humphrey since 2008, the last five years in his present position. “There were no reports of a tornado, but the straight line winds were at least 80 mph.”

The elevator was insured, though CVA is keeping the loss figure private. Of more immediate concern was a looming harvest and the need for more upright storage space to put it.

Little time to rebuild before harvest

With very little time to go, CVA contacted EBM Construction Inc., just a few miles down the road in Norfolk, NE (402-371-2945). “They were able to set us up with a single tank for incoming corn.”

EBM was able to construct a Chief 165,000-bushel tank in time for the harvest. The tank stands approximately 62 feet in diameter, 60 feet tall at the eave, and 72 feet tall at the peak.

The tank is outfitted with outside stiffeners, flat floor, Daay paddle sweep auger, and an 11-cable TSGC grain temperature monitoring system. A set of two Chief 30-hp centrifugal fans provide 1/7 cfm per bushel of aeration.

An existing 10,000-bph Warrior overhead drag conveyor was extended out to the new tank. The tank empties onto another 10,000-bph drag in a below-ground tunnel.

In the meantime, CVA sought bids on a more extensive project involving a larger storage tank, a smaller wet tank, leg, and dryer. The company awarded that job, for an undisclosed sum, to J & D Construction Inc., Montevideo, MN (800-279-6447). J & D has done extensive work with CVA on other projects.

Also Involved at the Humphrey Location:

  • Otte Electric, Columbus, NE (402-564-9996), served as the electrical contractor.
  • Cross Country Construction, Rockford, IL (815-315-0637), erected the new storage tanks.
  • Longfellow Foundations Inc., Hutchinson, KS (620-662-1228), made soil corrections for the construction of the wet tank and dryer.
  • KC Engineering, Sioux City, IA (712-252-0346), performed structural engineering. J & D Construction also did some design engineering.

Work begins on larger project after 2018 harvest

Work began after the 2018 harvest, and the project was completed prior to the 2019 harvest.

Crews built a 288,000-bushel Behlen tank adjacent to the new Chief tank standing roughly 79 feet in diameter, 62-1/2 feet tall at the eave, and 84 feet tall at the peak.

The tank has a flat floor, Daay paddle bin sweep, and a 14-cable TSGC grain temperature monitorng system. A set of four AGI Airlanco 7.5-hp centrifugal fans provide 1/9.1 cfm per bushel of aeration.

The wet tank, also from Behlen, stands approximately 49 feet in diameter, 62-1/2 feet tall at the eave, and 75 feet tall at the peak and holds 108,000 bushels. It is oufitted similarly to the larger tank, except for a seven-cable TSGC system, and only two 10-hp AGI Airlanco centrifugal fans provide 1/6.8 cfm per bushel of aeration on coarse grains.

Utilizing an existing receiving pit, J & D installed a new 10,000-bph Schlagel receiving leg equipped with a single row of Tapco heavy-duty 16x8 buckets mounted on an 18-inch Continental Pathfinder belt. The leg feeds grain into a four-spout Schlagel SwingSet distributor. From there, 10,000-bph overhead Schlagel drag conveyors carry it out to storage.

All of this is enclosed in a LeMar 14-foot-x-14-foot-x-140-foot support tower with switchback stairs. The stairs were designed by J & D to connect to catwalks allowing workers to reach every bin top easily.

The Behlen tanks empty onto 10,000-bph Schlagel drag conveyors, an above-ground tunnel from the wet tank and below-ground from the bigger tank.

The project also includes a 4,750-bph propane-fired Zimmerman tower dryer, replacing a 3,500-bph dryer that was lost. After grain is dried, it is sent back to the rest of the elevator by a 7,500-bph Schlagel dry leg.

Ground-level view of replacement storage shows a 168,000-bushel Chief tank, (left) and a 288,000 bushel Behlen tank.

More About Central Valley Ag:

  • York, NE • 402-362-0246
  • Founded: 2003
  • Storage capacity: 140 million bushels at 68 locations
  • Annual volume: 200 million bushels
  • Annual revenues: $1.4 billion
  • Number of members: 10,000+
  • Number of employees: 900
  • Crops handled: White and yellow corn, soybeans, wheat, sorghum, and sunflower
  • Services: Grain, agronomy, feed, and energy

Key personnel at Humphrey, NE:

Michael Bayer, location manager
Mike Heesacker, grain superintendent


Suppliers for the project:

  • Aeration fans • AGI Airlanco
  • Bearing sensors • Electro-Sensors, Inc.
  • Bin sweeps • Sioux Steel Co.
  • Bucket elevator • Schlagel Inc.
  • Catwalks • LeMar Industries Corp.
  • Contractors/millwrights • J & D Construction Inc., EBM Construction Inc.
  • Control system • Otte Electric
  • Conveyors (drag) • Schlagel Inc., Warrior Mfg. LLC
  • Distributor • Schlagel, Inc.
  • Electrical contractor • Otte Electric
  • Elevator buckets • Tapco Inc.
  • Engineering • K & C Engineering, J & D Construcion Inc.
  • Excavation • Wy-Ad Utility Contractors
  • Grain dryer • Zimmerman Grain Dryers
  • Grain temperature system • Tri-States Grain Conditioning, Inc.
  • Leg belting • Continental
  • Level indicators • Tri-States Grain Conditioning, Inc.
  • Motion sensors • Electro-Sensors, Inc.
  • Motors • Toshiba International
  • Soil correction • Longfellow Foundations
  • Speed reducers • Dodge
  • Steel storage • Behlen Mfg. Co., Chief Agri
  • Steel tank erection • Cross Country Construction LLC
  • Tower support system • LeMar Industries Corp.

Ed Zdrojewski, editor
Reprinted from March/April 2020 GRAIN JOURNAL

Central Valley Ag Gallery

Central Valley Ag rebuilds storage after storm damage in Humphrey, NE

  • Central Valley Ag steel tank Chief Behlen
  • Central Valley Ag LeMar dryer
  • Central Valley Ag Aerial
  • Central Valley Ag Zimmerman dryer

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