Farmer Coop Elevator Co.'s single-location grain complex in Rosholt, SD.
Rosholt, S.D. — When grain handling facilities expand, sometimes it’s a complete new greenfield elevator where none stood before, or sometimes it’s a smaller annex as a standalone structure near an existing elevator.
Farmers Coop Elevator Co., a single-location cooperative in Rosholt, SD spent $9 million in 2019 taking a different approach, with a grab bag of smaller projects designed to help the coop compete more effectively with other nearby grain receivers. These included a small two-tank wet grain annex, a new grain dryer, a temporary storage bunker with center fill tower, a new office/grain lab building, and new inbound and outbound truck scales.
“We know that with all the competition for grain around here, including an ethanol plant less than a mile away, our best chance of getting those bushels at harvest is to receive it quickly and dry it quickly,” says General Manager Brad Tangen, who came to Farmers Coop Elevator 16 years ago from another cooperative in nearby Sisseton, SD.
“Wet holding was a major bottleneck for us. Some days we were cutting off delivery at 1 or 2 p.m. Now, we’ve elimimated shutdowns.”
Prior to groundbreaking in early spring, the coop solicited bids on the work that needed to be done and selected D & W Industries, Sioux Falls, SD (605-336-0435), as general contractor and millwright. “They’ve done work for us forever, and once again, we liked their proposed design,” Tangen says.
A variety of other contractors performed work at the Rosholt site:
• Nohr Wortmann Engineering, Yankton, SD (605-665-1214), did foundation engineering on the project.
• Dakota Hills Electric, Kindred, ND (701-428-3648), was the electrical contractor.
• Wiesner Construction, Clear Lake, SD (605-874-6801), did concrete work.
• Riley Bros. Construction, Morris, MN (320-589-2500), built new roads at the Rosholt complex, clearing a lot of truck traffic from city streets.
All of the new equipment was up and running by Oct. 1.
The coop added a pair of Behlen 160,000-bushel corrugated steel tanks for wet grain adjacent to some existing, larger dry storage tanks. These flat-bottom tanks stand 49-1/4 feet in diameter and 98-1/2 feet at the eaves. Due to creek bottom soil conditions, they required a set of pilings extending 100 feet deep.
The tanks are equipped with outside stiffeners, Daay bin paddle sweeps, and four-cable TSGC grain temperature monitoring systems. A set of two Sukup 40-hp fans per tank supply 1/7 cfm per bushel of aeration through full-floor ducting.
Adjacent to the new tanks, two new receiving pits were installed – one at 30,000 bph and the other at 20,000 bph – to receive at 50,000 bph total. The 30,000-bph pit feeds a Schlagel 30,000-bph leg equipped with a single row of Maxi-Lift 26x10 buckets mounted on a 28-inch Continental belt. This allows the coop to take wet grain in at 30,000 bph, while the facility is drying at 10,000 bph and receiving dry grain at 20,000 bph for the temporary storage system all at the same time.
The leg feeds a five-spout Schlagel electronic rotary distributor. It can reach a 20,000-bph Schlagel drag conveyor running out to the new tanks, a 30,000-bph Schlagel belt convyeor to existing storage to the south, and an overhead 30,000-bph Schlagel enclosed belt conveyor running out to a new temporary storage pile.
The new tanks empty onto an above-ground 20,000-bph Schlagel enclosed belt conveyor running to a Schlagel 20,000-bph wet leg serving the dryer. The dryer itself is fired from a 60,000-gallon propane tank equipped with two vaporizers. Tangen says the dryer has performed very well so far, with an extremely wet year contributing to high moisture levels in the crop. The dryer empties into a 15,000-bph Schlagel dry leg.
The distributor also can send grain via overhead Schlagel 30,000-bph enclosed belt conveyor out to a new 2-million-bushel LeMar temporary storage pile with a J&D Construction/Innovative Ag Products center fill tower, 4-foot perforated steel sidewalls, and a packed gravel-base floor. Soles Enterprises installed the bunker walls, and supplied and installed the bunker cover.
The tower is topped by four 50-hp AGI Airlanco centrifugal fans to hold the tarp in place. An electronic weather station, also mounted on top, provides data to turn fans on and off automatically depending on weather conditions. A portable auger is used to empty the pile.
In addition, Farmers Coop Elevator constructed a new two-story, wood-construction office building, with offices on the first floor and grain lab and probe controls on the second. “Our old office had gotten very cramped,” Tangen says.
Adjacent to the office building is a new 120-foot Rice Lake inbound truck scale with an GSI/InterSystems truck probe and an automation system using RFID cards from Prairie Scales. A second Rice Lake outbound scale with a ticket printer is located remotely for trucks on the way out of the property.
“There was a bit of a learning curve at first, but now we have traffic moving through the facility much more smoothly,” Tangen says.
Rosholt, SD • 605-537-4236
Storage capacity: 7 million bushels at one location
Annual volume: 9-10 million bushels
Annual revenues: $55-60 million
Number of members: 250
Number of employees: 19
Crops handled: Corn, soybeans, hard red spring wheat
Services: Grain handling and merchandising, feed, agronomy
Ed Zdrojewski, editor
Reprinted from GRAIN JOURNAL March/April 2020 Issue