Facility Feature
Landus Cooperative Builds New Three-Tank Elevator Next to Old Temporary Ring

Landus Cooperative’s new 3-million-bushel truck elevator near the edge of Collins, IA includes an 800,000-bushel temporary storage pile (foreground) that dates back to 2008.

Merger of Iowa coops supports adding 2.25 million bushels of upright steel grain storage for shipping to rail loader

Collins, IA — Long before there was a grain elevator at the intersection of U.S. Highway 65 and State Highway 210 just south of Collins, IA, the former FC Cooperative operated a single 800,000-bushel temporary storage pile constructed on the site in 2008.

Since then, in 2016, FC merged with West Central Cooperative to create Landus Cooperative. With 60 grain locations throughout central, northern, and western Iowa, Landus Cooperative is now the sixth largest grain handling business in the United States. According to Landus Cooperative COO Brett Bell, the new cooperative loads a grain train somewhere on its system every 25 hours.

Along with the new name comes a shiny new grain elevator right next to the old temporary ring, still in use at Collins, with roughly 2.25 million bushels of upright steel storage or approximately 3 million bushels of storage on site.

“The temporary pile has served us very well, but we were trucking 1.3 or 1.4 million bushels out of the area every year,” says Bell, who came to Landus Cooperative from Cargill at the time of the merger. “We already had the land, so it made sense to build more storage space here. We’re mainly using this location to ship grain to our rail loader in Pleasant Hill (a suburb of Des Moines, IA about 30 miles away). The rest goes to local processors.”

Keen Project Solutions wins $14 million contract

Late in 2017, Landus Cooperative took bids from several Iowa contractors for a steel elevator at Collins. The cooperative awarded a roughly $14 million contract to Keen Project Solutions, LLC, a relatively new ag-oriented general contractor and millwright in Ames, IA (515-233-1244).

“They demonstrated to us the ability to deliver the project on time and, of particular importance to Landus Cooperative, safely, and the cost was competitive,” says Bell.

Other contractors on the project:

  • KC Engineering PC, Sioux City, IA (712-252-2100), performed structural engineering.
  • Veenstra & Kimm Inc., Mason City, IA (844-241-8033), did civil engineering work.
  • Enterprise Electric, Boone, IA (515432-7162), served as electrical contractor.
  • CSE Automation LLC, Omaha, NE (402-861-6100), programmed and installed facility automation systems.
  • Global Bin Builders, Kerkhoven, MN (320-413-0312), erected the three storage tanks.

Work on the elevator began in March 17. When Grain Journal visited the site in mid-October, some electrical work remained to be completed, but the elevator had been receiving grain since Oct. 2.

Keen Project Solutions with Global Bin Builders erected a set of three GSI corrugated steel tanks holding 750,000 bushels each. The 105-foot-diameter tanks stand 93-1/2 feet tall at the eaves and a little under 122 feet tall at the peaks.

A set of six 60-hp Rolfes@Boone centrifugal fans deliver 1/7 cfm per bushel worth of aeration on corn through in-floor ducting with fifteen 2-hp roof exhausters per tank.

Incoming loads of grain arriving by truck are sampled with an existing InterSystems probe then proceed to a Rice Lake 14-foot-x-80-foot pitless, above-ground inbound scale installed by Siouxland Scale Service Inc. under the control of a Proceres oneWeighTM scale automation system.

Wood frame, metal side office building a prototype

Both the inbound and identical outbound scale are located adjacent to the single-story facility office building and lab. The building has a wood frame and prefabricated metal walls. According to Location Manager Jason Lemmert – who has been with the cooperative for 18 years, the first 16 on the FC Cooperative side – says the structure is the first office building of its design in the Landus Cooperative system and is likely to become a prototype for future construction projects.

After the loads are weighed and graded, drivers proceed to an enclosed receiving pit structure with two 1,600-bushel mechanical pits. Lemmert comments that the pits measure 10 feet by 27 feet, large enough to take in grain from both outlets on a semi-truck simultaneously. Both pits are outfitted with Donaldson Torit dust collectors to keep dust levels in check during operations.

The pits feed a system of Global Fabrication 20,000-bph conveyors, which then feed a pair of InterSystems 20,000-bph legs outfitted with 4B 20x8 heavy-duty buckets mounted on 22-inch Continental belts.

The legs deposit grain into a Schlagel 12-inlet rotary double distributor. From the distributor, grain is carried out to steel storage or the ground pile via overhead 40,000-bph Global Fabrication drag conveyors and bridges, which span 140 feet over the steel tanks. All receiving is encased by a 20-foot-x-26-foot-x-175-foot Global Fabrication tower constructed of more than 225,000 pounds of steel.

The tanks empty onto a pair of 20,000-bph Global Fabrication drag conveyors in above-ground tunnels. These run back to one of the two receiving legs and up to the distributor.

Truck loadout tower holds surge tank

For truck loadout, the distributor sends grain onto an overhead 20,000-bph Global Fabrication drag conveyor running out to a Global Fabrication loadout tower over a loadout truck lane just west of the receiving shed.

The tower holds a roughly 5,000-bushel Meridian surge tank mounted atop a 20,000-bph C&A bulk weigh loadout scale using Proceres oneWeigh automation controls. The oneWeigh system allows the bulkweigher to pulse at intervals as small as 50 bushels to provide origin weights. That’s one less step that needs to take place once the load reaches the Pleasant Hill terminal, Lemmert notes.

The facility also includes a liquid propane-fired, 7,000-bph Zimmerman tower dryer. The dryer is serviced by a pair of InterSystems 15,000-bph wet and dry legs. The dry leg deposits grain into a 4-duct Schlagel Synchroset distributor, which then sends grain to storage.

In keeping with Landus Cooperative’s safety focus, Lemmert says, the Collins elevator has a number of features that improve safety:

  • An extensive hazard monitoring system is in place throughout the facility. “If it moves, we monitor it,” says Lemmert.
  • An extensive system of extra-large catwalks provides easy access to motors and other items requiring regular maintenance.
  • Landus Cooperative spent an extra $18,000 to equip all 18 fans around the elevator with silencers.
Landus Cooperative COO Brett Bell (right) and Location Manager Jason Lemmert.

Company Info, Landus Cooperative

  • Ames, IA • 515-817-2100
  • Founded • 2016
  • Storage capacity • 177 million bushels at 60 locations
  • Annual volume • 185 million bushels
  • Annual revenues • $1.2 billion
  • Number of members • 7,000
  • Number of employees • 650
  • Crops handled • Corn, soybeans
  • Services • Grain handling and merchandising, feed, soybean processing, agronomy

Key personnel

  • Jason Lemmert, location manager
  • Tom Hudson, superintendent
  • Dean Henze, customer service specialist
  • Dean Buck, operations technician
  • Matt Mitchell, operations technician
  • Brennan Manfull, field sales agronomist


  • Aeration fans • Rolfes@Boone
  • Bearing sensors • 4B Components Ltd.
  • Bin sweeps • LeMar Industries Corp.
  • Bucket elevators • InterSystems
  • Bulk weigh scale • C&A Scales
  • Bulk weigh scale controls • Proceres Solutions
  • Catwalk • Global Fabrication
  • Contractor • Keen Project Solutions LLC
  • Conveyors • Global Fabrication
  • Distributor • Schlagel Inc.
  • Dust collection system • Donaldson Torit
  • Electrical contractor • Enterprise Electric
  • Elevator buckets • 4B Components Ltd.
  • Engineering • KC Engineering
  • Grain dryer • Zimmerman Grain Dryers
  • Grain temperature system • Temputech Inc.
  • Leg belting • Continental
  • Level indicators • Enterprise Electric
  • Millwright • Keen Project Solutions LLC
  • Motion sensors • 4B Components Ltd.
  • Scale automation • Proceres Solutions
  • Speed reducers • Rexnord
  • Steel storage • GSI, Meridian Mfg. Inc.
  • Steel tank erection • Global Bin Builders
  • Tower support system • Global Fabrication
  • Truck probe • InterSystems
  • Truck scale • Rice Lake Weighing Systems

Ed Zdrojewski, Editor

Reprinted From GRAIN JOURNAL November/December 2018 Issue

Landus Cooperative Gallery

New Three-Tank Elevator

  • Landus Cooperative Collins Aerial
  • Landus Cooperative Collins Bell Lemmert
  • Landus Cooperative Collins Zimmerman dryer
  • Landus Cooperative Collins Gsi Steel Tanks
  • Landus Rake Ia Dryer Rail Load Expansion
  • Landus Cooperative Collins Donaldson Torit dust collection
  • Landus Cooperative Collins Rice Lake Scale InterSystems probe
  • Landus Cooperative Collins Global Fabrication tower Meridian surge tank C&A scale

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