Facility Feature
Central Valley Ag Builds Greenfield Facility Rather Than Renovating Several Older Elevators

New 3.78 million-bushel Central Valley Ag elevator outside Linn, KS.

Upright grain storage at Kansas facility consists of two large Sukup corrugated steel tanks, two smaller tanks

Linn, KS — When the regional cooperative Central Valley Ag acquired the former Farmway Cooperative in north central Kansas in 2017, the deal came with roughly a half-dozen country elevators that were needing renovation.

“Some of these elevators were dating back to the 1950s,” says Wes O’Bannon, Area 3 vice president-operations covering all Central Valley facilities in Kansas. (O’Bannon has been with Central Valley since the merger and is a 28-year veteran of the cooperative system.) “All of them still have good upright storage, but we were dumping at 5,000 bph at some locations.”

Instead of doing all of those renovations, Central Valley decided it would get better return on investment by building a brand new elevator at a place along State Highway 15 known locally as “The Junction,” a few miles from the town of Linn, KS (785-747-4135). The older facilities around The Junction will be run differently going forward and filled only when markets and space dictates.

Pilings, geopiers unnecessary for elevator site

Central Valley purchased a 40-acre site along the highway from a local farmer. The coop then engaged J&D Construction Inc., Montevideo, MN (320-226-2336) to serve as general contractor, millwright, and primary engineer on the turnkey project for an undisclosed sum.

O’Bannon notes that Central Valley has developed a close relationship with J&D through a series of projects in the northern part of the cooperative’s territory in parts of Nebraska and Iowa.

In addition to J&D:

  • Dagel Steel Construction Inc., Florence, SD (605-886-3796), erected the steel storage tanks holding a total of 2.1 million bushels upright.
  • Interstates, Sioux Center, IA (712-722-1662), served as electrical contractor and installed automation systems.

The central part of Kansas saw historically wet weather during 2018. Despite that, the crew from J&D was able to complete construction – starting April 5 with excavation and finishing Sept. 26.

Soil type was a potential challenge, but Central Valley quickly determined that it would not be necessary to put down pilings or geopiers. For most of the site, the crew had to excavate only 12 feet deep – the receiving pits, by contrast, go down 18 feet.

Another challenge was a nearby local general aviation airport serving Washington, KS. Working with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the parties determined that the bucket elevators could not exceed 186 feet in height, and a standard red light must be hung on it. That, in turn, limited the capacity of some of the tanks.

Four Sukup steel tanks provide storage

Upright storage at The Junction consists of two large 105-foot-diameter Sukup corrugated tanks, one 78-foot, and one 48-foot.

The two big tanks, currently dedicated to soybeans, hold 764,000 bushels each standing 95-1/2 feet tall at the eaves and 124 feet tall at the peaks. They have outside stiffeners, 14-inch Springland bin sweeps, 24-cable TSGC SafeTrack wireless grain volume and temperature monitoring systems, Bindicator level monitors, and a set of four Sukup 50-hp centrifugal fans. The upright tanks are calibrated to provide 1/8 cfm per bushel.

The middle-sized tank, rated at 441,500 bushels capacity, is 78 feet in diameter, 102 feet tall at the eave, and 123 feet tall at the peak. It currently holds corn. It is outfitted similarly to the two big tanks, with 14 wireless and volume temperature cables and four 40-hp fans.

The 48-foot tank, rated at 124,000 bushels, is used mainly for segregating grains and the same dimensions as the 78-foot tank. It has six wireless and volume temperature cables, two 30-hp aeration fans, and unlike the larger tanks, is equipped with a Daay paddle sweep.

The facility also has two oval LeMar temporary storage piles, 150-feet-x-600-feet holding 1 million bushels and 150-feet-x-300-feet holding 500,000 bushels. These bunkers have 4-foot LeMar perforated steel sidewalls and packed fly ash floors, plus six and 12 Brock axial fans, respectively. They are filled with LeMar double driveover receiving pits and emptied with front-end loaders.

Receiving pits feed Schlagel 20,000 bph legs

Incoming grain trucks are sampled with a Union Iron truck probe and weighed on a pair of B-Tek 80-foot inbound and outbound truck scales installed by Salina Scales & Service. The scales are under the control of a one-WeighTM scale automation system, installed by C&A Scale Service. The system includes an RF tag reader, outdoor message boards, intercoms, and printers. The grain grading lab in the nearby facility office building includes a DICKEY-john GAC® 2500-UGMA grain analysis computer and a Mid-Continent MCi Kicker dockage tester.

Drivers are routed to one of two 1,200-bushel mechanical receiving pits. These feed a pair of Schlagel 20,000-bph legs outfitted with a single row of Tapco heavy-duty 20x8 buckets mounted on a 22-inch Continental belt. The legs are enclosed in a LeMar 20-foot-x-20-foot support tower with switchback stairs.

The legs deposit grain into a Schlagel eight-duct swing-type double distributor, which in turn, deposits grain onto Schlagel 20,000-bph drag conveyors running out to storage.

Tanks empty onto 10,000-bph Schlagel drags in below-ground tunnels that run back to the receiving legs. The distributor can send grain via gravity spout to a pair of overhead 5,000-bushel Meridian surge tanks for loading trucks.

O’Bannon notes that the property includes enough space to add one more 105-foot-diameter tank and a grain dryer if needed.

Twin B-Tek inbound and outbound truck scales with one-Weigh scale automation controls, with a Union Iron truck probe adjacent to the facility office.

Company Info, Central Valley Ag

York, NE


Founded • 2003

Storage capacity • 92.3 million bushels at 53 locations

Annual volume • 130 million bushels

Annual revenues • $1.1 billion

Number of members • 10,000+

Number of employees • 900

Crops handled • Corn, soybeans, hard red winter wheat, sorghum, oats

Services • Grain handling and merchandising, feed, agronomy, energy, marketing services

Key personnel at Linn:

  • Wes O’Bannon, Area 3 vice president-operations
  • Rusty Morehead, regional operations vice president
  • Terry Collins, project manager
  • Jarad Hammond, location manager
  • Shelly Peters, customer serivce
  • Derek Wiese, operations
  • Aaron Peters, operations


  • Aeration fans • Sukup Mfg. Co., Brock Grain Systems
  • Bearing and speed sensors • CMC Industrial Electronics
  • Bin sweeps • Springland Mfg., Sioux Steel Inc.
  • Bucket elevator • Schlagel Inc.
  • Catwalk • LeMar Industries
  • Contractor/millwright • J&D Construction Inc.
  • Conveyors • Schlagel Inc.
  • Distributor • Schlagel Inc.
  • Dockage tester • Mid-Continent Industries
  • Electrical contractor • Interstates
  • Elevator buckets • Tapco Inc.
  • Engineering • J&D Construction Inc.
  • Grain temperature systems • Tri-States Grain Conditioning Inc.
  • Insurance • Nationwide
  • Leg belting • Continental
  • Level indicators • Bindicator
  • Moisture meter • DICKEY-john
  • Motors • Toshiba
  • Scale automation • Proceres – a Cultura Company
  • Scale automation installation • C&A Scale Service Inc.
  • Steel storage • Sukup Mfg. Co.
  • Steel tank erection • Dagel Steel Construction Inc.
  • Surge tanks • Meridian Mfg. Inc.
  • Temporary storage • LeMar Industries
  • Tower support systems  LeMar Industries
  • Truck probe • Union Iron
  • Truck scale • B-TEK Scales LLC, Salina Scale Sales & Service Inc.

Ed Zdrojewski, Editor

Reprinted from GRAIN JOURNAL March/April 2019 Issue

Central Valley Ag Linn Gallery

Builds Greenfield Facility

  • Central Valley Ag Linn elevator
  • Central Valley Ag Linn MCi Kicker dockage
  • Central Valley Ag Linn LeMar tower Schlagel legs distributor conveyors
  • Central Valley Ag Linn B-Tek scales oneWeigh automation Union Iron probe

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