Facility Feature
Hopkinsville Elevator Co. Inc. Adds Two Steel Tanks for Soft Red Wheat

Elevator handles significant amounts of Kentucky's soft red winter wheat for local use, export

Hopkinsville, KY - Hopkinsville Elevator Co. Inc. has been expanding its Casky elevator complex, about five miles southeast of Hopkinsville, KY, into a huge 10-million-bushel steel tank complex in recent years. Much of that is devoted to corn storage for an adjacent ethanol plant run by the company’s Commonwealth Agri-Energy subsidiary.

But the elevator also handles a great deal of western Kentucky’s significant soft red winter wheat crop. That was the primary purpose for the company to install a pair of 576,000-bushel Chief Agri tanks in 2019, says General Manager Eston Glover III, who has spent his entire 21-year grain industry career at Hopkinsville Elevator.

“About half of our wheat goes to Siemer Milling Co. here in Hopkinsville,” he says. “Much of the rest is loaded onto barges at our Cumberland River terminal in Clarksville, TN, and sent down the river for export.”

Two-phase project. The two newest tanks represent the second of a two-phase project started in 2018. That first phase included a pair of 525,000-bushel Brock tanks (90-foot diameter by 88-foot eaves and 112 feet at the peaks) served by a new receiving pit feeding a 20,000-bph AGI Union Iron leg and 20,000-bph drag conveyors.

Chief Agra tanks, conveyors heart of project

The main reason for the switch to Chief Agri tanks in the 2019 project, Glover explains, is that the contract for an undisclosed sum was awarded after a bidding process to CT Grain Systems LLC, Lewisburg, KY (270-893-0013), a Chief Agri dealer. “They did a great job, breaking ground in January 2019 and finishing in July,” he says.

Also participating in the 2019 work were SKS Engineers LLC, Decatur, IL (217-877-2100), which did engineering work; and Holland Electric Co., Hopkinsville (270-885-4211), which served as the electrical contractor.

The 2019 tanks stand 92 feet 10 inches in diameter, 91 feet 11 inches at the eaves, and 117 feet 7 inches at the peaks. They have flat floors, outside stiffeners, Daay bin paddle sweeps, and Bindicator level indicators, but do not include grain temperature monitoring. A set of four 50-hp Chief Agri-Caldwell centrifugal fans per tank deliver 1/9 cfm per bushel through in-floor ducting in a Quad F pattern.

One of the tanks is filled by an overhead Chief Agri 20,000-bph drag conveyor and the other by a Chief Agri15,000-bph drag conveyor. Glover notes that the smaller conveyor runs off an older 15,000-bph leg.

The tanks have sidedraws and then finish emptying onto Chief Agri 20,000- and 15,000-bph drag conveyors, respectively, in below-ground tunnels.

Company Profile: Hopkinsville Elevator Co., Inc.

  • Hopkinsville, KY • 270-886-5191
  • Founded: 1968
  • Storage capacity: 20 million bushels at six locations
  • Annual volume: 75 million bushels
  • Annual revenues: $400 million
  • Number of members: 3,600
  • Number of employees: 60
  • Crops handled: Corn, soft red winter wheat, soybeans
  • Services: Grain handling and merchandising, agronomy, ethanol, risk management/crop insurance

Key personnel:

  • Eston Glover III, general manager
  • Ben Westerfield, grain merchandising manager
  • Randall Hampton, location manager
  • Blair Ezell, assistant manager
  • Benton Miller, scale operator
  • Haylee Vowel, scale operator

Supplier List

  • Aeration fans • Chief Agri-Caldwell
  • Bin sweeps • Sioux Steel Co.
  • Bucket elevator • AGI Union Iron
  • Catwalks • Allstate Tower Inc.
  • Concrete • Carmen & Sons Concrete, CT Grain Systems LLC
  • Contractor/millwright • CT Grain Systems LLC
  • Conveyors • AGI Union Iron
  • Electrical contractor • Holland Electric
  • Elevator buckets • Tapco Inc.
  • Engineering • SKS Engineers, LLC
  • Level indicators • Bindicator
  • Motors • Baldor Dodge
  • Speed reducers • Dodge Reliance
  • Steel storage • Chief Agri, Brock Grain Systems
  • Tower support system • AGI Union Iron

Ed Zdrojewski, Grain Journal

Reprinted from GRAIN JOURNAL November/December 2019 Issue

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