Facility Feature
Bellingham Farmers Coop Elevator Co.'s New Tank Adds Flexibility to Store or Move Grain

Farmers Coop Elevator Co. elevator in Bellingham, MN, with newest Behlen 750,000-bushel tank at bottom right.

Greater Volumes, Better Market Reaction Spur 750,000-Bush Steel Tank at Minnesota Coop

Bellingham, MN — The cooperative had added a 750,000-bushel tank in 2018 and found itself adding another one in 2020.

“Additional space is still an investment we will look to make in the future,” says General Manager Joshua Ludvigsen, who has been with the coop for 14 years after receiving his degree in agricultural economics from North Dakota State University.

“With the added space we are better able to react to market signals and get increased returns on our investments.”

Farmers Coop Elevator has no date in mind for adding yet another tank. However, the coop recently purchased 200 acres to the south of its Bellingham location with the idea that they could be used to install more upright storage and/or install a loop track to be serviced by the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway, again with no date set.

In the meantime, the Bellingham facility remains a truck house. Much of the corn passing through the elevator is destined for area ethanol plants, and soybeans are shipped to an Ag Processing Inc plant in Dawson, MN.

The $2.3 million 2020 project contract was awarded to J&D Construction, Inc., Montevideo, MN (800-279-6447).

“They’ve had a role in almost every construction project we’ve done here for the past 25 years,” Ludvigsen comments. “J&D does a good job taking care of business.”

The actual tank was erected by Cross Country Construction, Elbow Lake, MN (218-685-6410).

The contractors were helped along in 2020 by good construction weather. The project broke ground around April 20 and was ready to receive grain by Sept. 15.

Expansion Features 750,000-Bushel Behlen Steel Tank

The new 750,000-bushel Behlen tank stands 105 feet in diameter, 92 feet tall at the eave, and 120 feet tall at the peak.

The flat-bottom tank has outside stiffeners and a flat concrete floor. There is no grain temperature monitoring system, but a simple pancake-type full switch from Monitor Technologies serves as a level indicator.

The tank includes a Springland 6000 Series 16-inch sweep auger capable of operating at up to 10,000-bph.

A set of four AGI Airlanco 40-hp, 1,750-rpm centrifugal fans deliver 1/9.4 cfm per bushel of aeration on coarse grains through flush-floor ducting, with the assistance of 10 2-hp roof exhausters.

To handle the increased volume of grain to the new tank, as well as projected new storage, J &D installed a new Schlagel six-duct Swing Set distributor at the top of an existing leg from 2018.

A Schlagel Model 2620 overhead 20,000-bph drag conveyor runs from the new distributor out to the new tank. It is supported by a LeMar 8-foot-x-12-foot-123-foot tower on the far side of the tank.

The tank empties onto an above-ground AGI Hi Roller 60,000-bph enclosed belt conveyor running back to the 2018 leg. An 8-foot-wide-x-6-foot-8-inch-wide tunnel provides easy access to reclaim equipment.

Farmers Coop Elevator Co. Bellingham, MN • 320-568-2216

  • Founded: 1907
  • Storage capacity: 4.4 million bushels at two locations
  • Annual volume: 12-14 million bushels
  • Annual sales: $80-85 million
  • Number of members: 300
  • Number of employees: 24
  • Crops handled: Corn, soybeans, hard red spring wheat, oats
  • Services: Grain handling and merchandising, feed, agronomy, custom application, fuels, trucking

Key personnel at Bellingham:

  • Joshua Ludvigson, general manager
  • Travis Scofield, operations
  • Brenda Hoffman, office manager

Bellingham Supplier List

  • Actuators • Andco Actuators
  • Aeration fans • AGI Airlanco
  • Bearing sensors • Electro-Sensors, Inc.
  • Bin sweep • Springland Mfg.
  • Catwalk • LeMar Industries
  • Contractor • J&D Construction, Inc.
  • Conveyors (belt) • AGI Hi Roller
  • Conveyors (drag) • Schlagel Inc.
  • Distributor • Schlagel Inc.
  • Engineering (foundation) • GeoTek, Inc.
  • Level indicator • Monitor Technologies LLC
  • Liners • Argonics, Inc.
  • Millwright • J&D Construction, Inc.
  • Motion sensors • 4B Components Ltd.
  • Motors • Toshiba International
  • Speed reducers • Dodge
  • Steel storage • Behlen Mfg. Co.
  • Steel tank erector • Cross Country Construction
  • Tower support system • LeMar Industries

Ed Zdrojewski, editor

-From May/June 2021 GRAIN JOURNAL

Farmers Cooperative Elevator Company

  • Bellingham Farmers Coop Elevator Co. Main Office
  • Bellingham Farmers Coop Elevator Co. Behlen Steel Tank ground level
  • Farmers Coop Elevator Co. Bellingham Behlen Steel Tank
  • Bellingham Farmers Coop Elevator Co. AGI Hi Roller Conveyor AGI Airlanco Fans
  • Bellingham Farmers Coop Elevator Co. LeMar Tower

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