Facility Feature
Le Mars Agri-Center Inc. Extends Storage at Second Location

Le Mars Agri-Center Inc's remote location near Le Mars, IA with new 410,000-bushel Sioux Steel Co. storage tank at center.

Iowa Grain Handler Constructs 410,000-Bushel Steel Tank to Move Another 1 Million Bushels During Harvest

Le Mars, IA — It’s hard to think of it as a problem, exactly, but Le Mars Agri-Center Inc., a privately-held grain handler in Le Mars, IA, needed to find a way to handle another 1 million bushels of grain during the upcoming 2017 harvest.

Figuring two turns or a little more during a normal harvest season in northwest Iowa, says General Manager and Merchandiser Brian Harpenau, who has held that title since 2003, translates into a medium-to-large 90-foot-diameter steel tank.

There was little space left at the in-town headquarters elevator on First Avenue SW for such a tank, but the company was operating a second location a few blocks to the northeast. That was in-town, too, but with a little more space for expansion, Harpenau says.

Le Mars constructs 410,000-bushel steel tank

During 2017, Le Mars Agri-Center spent $1 million to construct a 410,000-bushel corrugated steel tank and an inbound, outbound truck scale at the site.

To construct the project, Le Mars hired Dacotah Grain Systems, then located relatively nearby in Hull, IA (712-348-2888). (Dacotah since then has relocated to Colorado but remains in the grain construction business.)

“This is the first time we’ve had a contract with Dacotah, but they performed very well for us,” says Harpenau. Construction got underway around April 1 and was completed in time for harvest on Oct. 1.

Dacotah Grain Systems is a Sioux Steel dealer and constructed a 410,000-bushel tank standing 90 feet in diameter, 95 feet tall at the eave, and 119 feet tall at the peak.

The new tank is equipped with outside stiffeners, a flat floor, Daay bin paddle sweep, 12-cable TSGC grain temperature monitoring system, and two sidedraw spouts.

Project includes 70-foot inbound/outbound truck scale

A pair of Sioux Steel 50-hp centrifgugal fans provide 1/10 cfm per bushel of aeration through in-floor ducting with the assistance of six powered roof exhausters.

Grain reaches the new tank via an existing 10,000-bph leg and distributor, which deposits it onto a new 10,000-bph overhead D-Line drag conveyor running out to the tank. (The same leg serves the rest of the elevator, as well.)

Below the level of the sidedraws, the tank empties onto a 7,500-bph above-ground D-Line drag conveyor, which runs out to an incline truck-loading auger.

In addition to the tank, Le Mars installed a new 70-foot-long Vande Berg pit-type inbound/outbound truck scale adjacent to the facility office building. The scale operator uses an existing truck probe to collect samples.

Plans call for the addition of a second, similarly-sized steel tank and an overhead truck-loading surge bin, possibly in 2019, says Harpenau.

Company Profile, Le Mars Agri-Center Inc.

  • Le Mars, IA • 712-546-4127
  • Founded: 1998
  • Storage capacity: 1.375 million bushels at two locations
  • Annual volume: 4.65 million bushels
  • Annual sales: $31.8 million
  • Number of employees: 10
  • Crops handled: Corn, soybeans, oats
  • Services: Grain handling and merchandising, feed, seed, agronomy

Key personnel:

  • Brian Harpenau, general manager/merchandiser
  • Eric Reuter, location assistant

Supplier List

  • Aeration fans • Sioux Steel Co.
  • Bin sweep • Sioux Steel Co.
  • Catwalks • E-Z-Flo Grain Handling Systems
  • Contractor • Dacotah Grain Systems
  • Conveyors • D-Line Equipment
  • Grain temperature system • Tri-States Grain Conditioning Inc.
  • Millwright • Dacotah Grain Systems
  • Motors • Toshiba International
  • Speed reducers • Dodge
  • Steel storage • Sioux Steel Co.
  • Steel tank erection • Dacotah Grain Systems
  • Tower support system • E-Z-Flo Grain Handling Equipment
  • Truck scale • Vande Berg Scales

- Ed Zdrojewski, editor

Reprinted from GRAIN JOURNAL May/June 2018 Issue

Le Mars Agri-Center

  • Le Mars Agri-Center Vande Berg scale
  • Le Mars Agri-Center Hapenau
  • Le Mars Agri-Center Sioux Steel tank
  • Le Mars Agri-Center Sioux Steel fans
  • Le Mars Agri Center Inc. aerial sioux steel
  • Le Mars Agri-Center D-Line drag conveyor

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