Facility Feature
Farmers Cooperative Replaces Old Flat Storage With First of Planned Series of Upright Concrete Tanks

BURCHARD, Neb. - The September/October 2018 issue of Grain Journal included an article on three expansion projects Dorchester, NE-based Farmers Cooperative undertook at three of its locations in southeast Nebraska – Ruby, Virginia, and Wilber.

A fourth project was underway at the time, not unusual for a large regional cooperative with 65 locations throughout southeast Nebraska and northeast Kansas, but it wasn’t completed at the time Grain Journal visited the other three sites in August.

When the trade publication came back in mid-October, the construction of a new 510,000-bushel McPherson jumpform concrete tank and receiving pit and leg at the Burchard, NE elevator (402-865-4595) was completed, receiving grain, and the site was ready for another phase of construction.

“We knocked down a lot of flat storage to make room for this project,” says President and CEO Ron Velder. “We wanted to improve the ease of delivering and handling grain at Burchard.”

To construct the project, Farmers Cooperative hired HABCO Inc., Salina, KS (785-823-0440), and McPherson Concrete Storage Systems, McPherson, KS (800-999-8151), with HABCO also acting as millwright.

“HABCO has a track record after doing a lot of work for us, and almost all of our concrete consists of McPherson tanks,” Velder notes.

In addition, Manley Structural Engineers, Salina (785-823-0538), performed structural engineering on the project.

Plymouth Electric Inc., Plymouth, NE (402-656-4505), served as the electrical contractor on the job.

Work began early in the spring of 2018.

Soil conditions change construction plans

The cooperative’s original plan was to build corrugated steel tanks on the site at Burchard, Velder explains. However, soil conditions at the site, across State Highway 99 from the existing elevator, were problematic for building a heavy structure and would require a lot of pilings. With the cost of site preparation largely offsetting any cost advantage with steel, the coop decided to go with a concrete tank instead.

In the end, site prep required sinking 186 fourteen-inch-diameter concrete pilings 66 feet deep under the tank’s foundation.

The McPherson tank itself stands 72 feet in diameter and 140 feet tall. The steel-reinforced concrete walls are 11 inches thick with a double mat of rebar.

The flat-floor tank is equipped with a GSI 12-inch X-Series sweep auger, 12-cable Rolfes@Boone grain temperature monitoring system, and high-level BinMaster monitoring switches. The tank also has two side-draw spouts for direct truck loading.

Aeration is provided through flush-floor ducting by a set of four Airlanco 50-hp centrifugal fans at 1/10 cfm per bushel on corn and 1/9.3 cfm per bushel on soybeans. Seven roof exhausters assist with pulling air up through the tank.

Adjacent to the tank is a 950-bushel mechanical receiving pit. This feeds a 15,000-bph InterSystems receiving leg equipped with 18x8 Maxi-Lift Tiger-Tuff buckets on a 20-inch belt. This, in turn, deposits grain into a four-duct Hayes & Stolz rotary distributor. The leg is not encased by a tower but is, instead, securely bolted directly to the tank wall, eliminating the need for a support tower.

A 15,000-bph overhead InterSystems fill conveyor takes grain to the tank.

A lower sidedraw spout discharges direct to the receiving leg. After the level of grain falls below this outlet, the tank empties into a 5,000-bph reclaim auger cast in the floor of the tank that transfers grain to the receiving leg.

A spout running down from the distributor also can be used for truck loading.

Velder told Grain Journal early in November that work was about to begin on a second, identical jumpform tank at the site utilizing the same contractors.

Company Profile: Farmers Cooperative

  • Dorchester, NE • 402-946-2211
  • Founded: 1903
  • Storage capacity: 75 million bushels at 65 Locations
  • Annual volume: 100 million bushels
  • Number of members: 8,000
  • Number of employees: 500
  • Crops handled: Yellow and white corn, soybeans, hard red winter wheat, sorghum
  • Services: Grain handling and merchandising, feed, agronomy, energy, convenience stores, gas stations, tires

Key personnel:

  • Ron Velder, president/CEO
  • Jeff Wehrbein, location manager
  • Dale Hayek, merchandiser

Suppliers for the project

  • Aeration Fans • Airlanco
  • Bearing Sensors • 4B Component Ltd.
  • Bin Sweeps • GSI
  • Bucket Elevator • InterSystems
  • Concrete Tank • McPherson Concrete Storage Systems
  • Contractors • HABCO Inc., McPherson Concrete Storage Systems
  • Conveyors • InterSystems
  • Distributor • Hayes & Stolz Ind. Mfg. Co. Inc.
  • Electrical Contractor • Plymouth Electric Inc.
  • Elevator Buckets • Maxi-Lift Inc.
  • Engineering • Manley Structural Engineers
  • Grain Temperature System • Rolfes@Boone
  • Level Indicators • BinMaster Level Controls
  • Millwright • HABCO Inc.
  • Motion Sensors • 4B Components Ltd.
  • Motors • Baldor Motors
  • Speed Reducers • Dodge

Reprinted From GRAIN JOURNAL November/December 2018 Issue

Farmers Cooperative Burchard Gallery

  • Farmers Cooperative Burchard Aerial Shot
  • InterSystems Receiving Leg and Hayez & Stolz Distributor
  • Sidedraw Spout and Reclaim Auger

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