Farmers Cooperative rail terminal at Jansen, NE, with 680,000-bushel jumpform concrete tank in foreground.
Dorchester, NE — A regional farmer-owned cooperative like Farmers Cooperative (FC), with 41 grain locations in two states, usually has some sort of construction project underway at any given time, either to expand or to replace outdated storage and equipment.
“We continue to add storage and handling capacity,” says Allan Zumpfe, the new president and CEO at the cooperative. Zumpfe came to FC on Sept. 1, 2019, replacing longtime president and CEO, Ron Velder, who retired Nov. 1. Prior to FC, Zumpfe had been CEO at Cooperative Producers Inc. in Hastings, NE for three years and was vice president-grain for Central Valley Ag in York, NE.
In 2020, he says, FC focused on adding concrete storage at three rail terminal locations, all of them on the Union Pacific Railroad (UP) – Jansen, NE; Frankfort, KS; and Hanover, KS. That’s three of FC’s six terminals; one other on the UP and two on the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway (BNSF).
FC likes concrete storage at rail locations for its durability under conditions of frequent turns. The majority of the cooperative’s concrete storage are jumpform tanks constructed by McPherson Concrete Storage Systems, McPherson, KS (800-999-8151); the ring of white diamonds around the top of the tanks is a familiar sight throughout the central plains.
FC turned to a longtime construction partner to serve as general contractor and millwright on all three projects, Frisbie Construction Co. Inc., Gypsum, KS (785-536-4288).
“Frisbie has done a lot of projects for us, at least 35, so there’s a strong comfort factor there,” says Grain Manager Dale Hayek, who has been with FC for 32 years.
Two electrical contractors were used on the three projects – Plymouth Electric, Plymouth, NE (402-656-4505) at Jansen, and B&W Electric, Hanover, KS (785- 337-2598), at Frankfort and Hanover.
Automation control systems at Frankfort and Hanover were supplied by Kasa Controls & Automation, Salina, KS (785-825-7181).
Construction started immediately after 2019 harvest at Jansen first; all three locations were either completely finished or within a week or so of being done when Grain Journal visited in late August 2020.
All three projects were very similar, except for the overall size of the three tanks. Each tank has a flat floor and a 10,000-bph Prairie Land Millwright BinGator paddle sweep.
Jansen, NE. The smallest of the three tanks was built at Jansen (402-424-2230), though it’s hardly “small,” at 84 feet in diameter and 140 feet tall holding 680,000 bushels.
“That’s the largest tank we could fit into that footprint,” says Hayek. “There’s a fertilizer shed in the way of anything larger, though if we need more storage in the future, we could extend a row of tanks to the south.”
The tank includes a BinMaster level indicator, an 18-cable Rolfes@Boone grain temperature monitoring system, and a sidedraw spout for truck loading, though the Jansen elevator is designed primarily for train loading. A set of four AGI Airlanco 60-hp centrifugal fans provide 1/10.3 cfm per bushel of aeration through in-floor ducting.
A 15,000-bph overhead Schlagel drag conveyor carries grain to the tank. The tank empties onto an above-ground 5,000-bph Frisbie tube auger, which in turn, delivers grain to a 50,000-bph AGI Hi Roller enclosed belt conveyor running back to existing grain handling equipment.
The tank at Hanover, by contrast, is the largest of the three. It stands 100 feet in diameter and 140 feet tall and holds 920,000 bushels.
“We had been piling a lot of grain on the ground,” Hayek says. “Hopefully, the new tank will mean we won’t have to rely as much on the railroad for our logistics.”
The Hanover tank is outfitted similarly to the Jansen tank, though with a Rolfes@Boone 23-cable grain temperature monitoring system and six 75-hp centrifugal fans supplying 1/9 cfm per bushel of aeration.
Similarly to Jansen, the Hanover tank is filled by a 15,000-bph overhead Schlagel drag and empties onto another one, which in turn feeds a 30,000-bph AGI Hi Roller enclosed belt conveyor.
Frankfort, KS. The McPherson tank at Frankfort stands 92 feet in diameter and 140 feet tall holding 880,000 bushels. Differences from the other two tanks include an 18-cable Rolfes@Boon grain temperature monitoring system and six AGI Airlanco 60-hp centrifugal fans delivering 1/9 cfm per bushel of aeration.
This tank is filled and emptied by 15,000-bph Schlagel drag conveyors. The reclaim conveyor empties onto a 60,000-bph AGI Hi Roller enclosed belt conveyor.
Ed Zdrojewski, editor
Reprinted from September/October 2020 GRAIN JOURNAL