Facility Feature
New Vision Cooperative Adds Rail Loading Capacity in Limited Space With Jumpform Concrete Silo

New Vision Cooperative's 2.6 million-bushel branch elevator at Mountain Lake, MN with new jumpform concrete silo at far right.

Project meets need for balance with corn, soybean shuttle loading in tight location at Minnesota elevator

Mountain Lake, MN — The New Vision Cooperative grain elevator at Mountain Lake, MN (507-427-2419), has a sort of split personality. The facility consists of two rows of grain storage silos – on the north side, the silos are all concrete, while on the south, they are all corrugated steel.

So when it came time to add some storage capacity in 2015, the question was, concrete or steel?

In this case, says General Manager Frank McDowell, space considerations made the decision obvious, and the cooperative added a 245,000-bushel jumpform concrete silo. (McDowell has been with New Vision for 17 years – prior to that, he was at a Glacial Plains Cooperative elevator in Murdock, MN.)

“The objective was to load corn and bean shuttles back to back,” he tells Grain Journal during a visit in mid-January 2017. “To get that balance, we needed to add half a trainload of grain storage on the concrete side.

Concrete tank proves to be solid choice

“In this case, concrete was a better choice, because there was very little space available. With jumpform concrete, we were able to build a silo only 52 feet in diameter and go up to 136 feet tall. You can’t do that with steel. And we didn’t bother with slipform concrete, because we were just building one bin.”

To build the silo, New Vision turned to a jumpform specialist, Hoffmann, Inc., Muscatine, IA (563-263-4733). Other firms taking part in the project:

• General contractor and millwright: Elevator Works Inc., Lamberton, MN (507-752-7884).

• Electrical contractor: Gary’s Electric, Rushmore, MN (320-212-5146).

The $1.1 million project proceeded very quickly. Work crews broke ground early in July 2015, and the silo was complete by Oct. 10.

The Hoffmann silo contains a flat floor and a 12-inch Sudenga sweep auger. However, the silo contains no grain temperature monitoring cables or level indicators, since grain does not remain in the silo long enough to require those items for maintaining quality.

A pair of Decatur Aeration 25-hp centrifugal fans provide 1/10 cfm per bushel of aeration through in-floor ducting with the assistance of four 2-hp roof exhaust fans.

A new 15,000-bph overhead Schlagel drag conveyor carries grain out to the new silo from the existing elevator. The silo empties onto a Schlagel 25,000-bph reclaim drag housed in an above-ground tunnel.

“It’s been awesome,” says McDowell. “The new silo has done everything we’ve asked it to do.”

General Manager Frank McDowell

Company Info, New Vision Cooperative

  • Brewster, MN • 507-842-2001
  • Founded: 1998
  • Storage capacity: 25 million bushels at 16 locations
  • Annual revenues: $370 million
  • Number of members: 2,000
  • Number of employees: 160
  • Crops handled: Corn, soybeans
  • Services: Grain handling and merchandising, feed, agronomy

Key personnel:

  • Frank McDowell, general manager
  • Phil Barr, location manager
  • Brent Piotter, elevator operator
  • Randy Curry, scale operator
  • Wayne Fisk, elevator operator
  • Terry Besta, elevator operator

Supplier List

  • Aeration fans • Decatur Aeration
  • Bin sweep • Sudenga Industries
  • Concrete silo builder • Hoffmann, Inc.
  • Conveyors • Schlagel Inc.
  • Electrical contractor • Gary’s Electric
  • Millwright • Elevator Works

- Ed Zdrojewski, editor

Reprinted from GRAIN JOURNAL January/February 2017 Issue

New Vision Cooperative, Mountain Lake

Adding Rail Loading Capacity in Limited Space

  • New Vision Cooperative Mountain Lake aerial
  • New Vision Cooperative Mountain Lake McDowell
  • New Vision Cooperative Mountain Lake Hoffman concrete silo
  • New Vision Cooperative Mountain Lake Decatur Aeration
  • New Vision Cooperative Mountain Lake Schlagel conveyor

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