Our Projects

About Us
Contact Us

McPherson Concrete
Storage Systems, Inc.

P.O. Box 369
116 North Augustus
McPherson, KS 67460
Phone: 620-241-4362
Fax: 620-241-5254



Articles about some of our recently completed customer projects.


More Volume, More Storage

The size of Kansas crops can vary from year to year, depending largely on the weather. But at Agri Producers Inc.’s branch elevator in Lincolnville, KS the volume in recent years has been consistently high. “Grain receipts have been good,” says General Manager Stan Utting. “We’ve put milo on the ground several of those years".

The Lincolnville location in particular, on the edge of the Kansas Flint Hills region, is the farthest of all Agri Producers locations from the area’s rail terminals. That means transporting the crop out can be a challenge, so the cooperative board decided to add some additional storage this year at Lincolnville, which has siding for a maximum of eight railcars.

Specifically, the board spent $620,000 to build a new 288,000-bushel jumpform concrete tank right next to the main concrete house.

To construct the project, the cooperative hired the team of McPherson Concrete Storage, McPherson, KS.

“They built our silos at Tampa in 1978 and at Durham three years ago,”
Utting says. “Also, we like the fact that they’re local, within 40 miles of

Construction on the tank at Lincolnville began in January 2005, and the project was completed by June 1, in time for wheat harvest.

The new McPherson tank stands 60 feet in diameter and 116 feet tall. The flat-bottom tank is outfitted with a 12-inch Hutchinson sweep auger and 11-cable Rolfes@ Boone grain temperature monitoring system.

A set of four 50-hp AIRLANCO centrifugal fans and four 2-hp roof exhausters provide 1/11 cfm per bushel of aeration on coarse grains and 1/12 cfm on wheat through in-floor aeration ducting.

Agri Producers loads the new tank from an existing outside leg via a new 10,000-bph InterSystems overhead drag conveyor.

The tank feeds grain back to an existing house leg at 5,000 bph via a Frisbie unloading auger.

“The new tank is in a good location, and it’s been a good fit for us,” Utting comments.  Ed Zdrojewski, editor

New Branch Elevator

Cairo Coop Equity Exchange had a serviceable wood and steel branch elevator in the town of Calista, KS on what is now the Kansas & Oklahoma short-line railroad. However, that location had only 90,000
bushels worth of storage, little space to expand, and the cooperative was doing its rail loading at two other locations.

“We decided it was time to move and build a new elevator at a location right in the middle of some very good wheat country,” says General Manager Ed Laing, who came to Cairo Coop five years ago from Valley Cooperative in Winfield, KS. The new site is seven miles south of Callista at the intersection of two paved county roads, providing easy access for grain haulers.

Laing says he and his board of directors admired the workmanship on the jumpform concrete tanks built by McPherson Concrete Storage, McPherson, KS.

Construction began in March 2005. The smaller of the two tanks was ready in time for wheat harvest and turned four times in 2005. The larger tank was ready June 23.

The New Elevator
The new Calista facility is a 300,000-bushel jumpform concrete elevator featuring two tanks, one standing 48x120 feet and holding 200,000 bushels,
and the other standing 36x120 feet and holding 100,000. Both tanks have McPherson concrete hopper bottoms at a 37-degree angle, truck sidedraws, and GEE screw augers for emptying. The larger tank contains an eightcable Rolfes@Boone grain temperature monitoring system and four 25-hp Boone centrifugal fans that supply 1/5 cfm of air per bushel. The numbers on the smaller tank are six cables and four 15-hp fans.

The facility also includes a small wood-frame office building adjacent to an 80-foot Mettler-Toledo pitless scale and JaHam truck probe.

Incoming trucks then proceed to a 500-bushel mechanical pit that feeds
into a 15,000-bph GSI leg. The leg is outfitted with 16x8 Maxi-Lift Tiger Tuff low profile buckets mounted on an 18-inch Fenner Dunlop belt.

The leg feeds grain into a four-hole Patterson distributor. Two of the holes are currently in use, reaching either tank via gravity spout. The site has plenty of space to add two more tanks in the future, as needed.

The hopper augers in the two tankscan carry grain up to a pair of spouts
for loading trucks. Alternatively, they can empty directly back into the leg’s boot section.  Ed Zdrojewski, editor

Move Into West Kansas


A little over a year has passed since The Scoular Company purchased its Coolidge, KS grain-handling facility from Sullivan, Incorporated. But what a year it’s been.

Located on the Kansas-Colorado state line, the Cooledge facility has undergone a major transformation, emerging as an upgraded facility capable of loading or unloading 110-car shuttle trains on the BNSF

According to Scoular Senior Vice President Chuck Elsea, “The renovation
of the Coolidge facility enables our company to provide better service and more consistent markets to area country elevator and producer customers.

“Our ability to load out shuttle units provides our end-user customers in both the United States and Mexico with an additional reliable source of quality wheat and sorghum. And we also have the capability of serving dairy and cattle feed lot customers with inbound shipments of corn.”

Scoular added 480,000 bushels of upright concrete storage and related grain handling equipment, a 60,000-bph bulk weigh loadout system, and an approximately one-mile-long rail siding adjacent to the BNSF line.

The company brought in McPherson Concrete Storage, McPherson, KS as contractors on the project.

“HABCO and Watson Electric have both completed various jobs for Scoular over the years,” said Jim Foltz, Scoular’s senior operations manager in Coolidge. “They have the size, capability, knowledge of the industry, and a history in western Kansas. The quality of McPherson tanks is well-known throughout the area.” Work on the facility got underway in May 2005 and was completed by the following October.

Upright Storage
The new McPherson tank was deliberately designed to hold a full trainload of grain to fill a 110-car BNSF shuttle train. The jumpform concrete tank stands 72 feet in diameter and 128-1/2 feet tall. The tank has an in-ground 37-degree concrete hopper bottom, which is outfitted with a 24-inch HABCOmanufactured unloading auger.

The tank has no grain temperature monitoring system, but it is outfitted
with Monitor level indicators and a set of four 40-hp AIRLANCO centrifugal fans capable of supplying 1/15 cfm per bushel worth of aeration on small grains.

Rail Loading
A new 500-bushel gravity hopper pit was constructed on the rail side of the elevator, with the capability of dumping both trucks and railcars. This feeds into a 50,000-bph InterSystems leg positioned between the new tank and the existing concrete house. The leg is equipped with two rows of Maxi-Lift 24x8 Tiger Tuff buckets mounted on a 51-inch Goodyear belt.

The leg empties into a series of two-way diverters, which allows it to reach the new tank, the new bulk weigher, or a new 50,000-bph Hi Roller enclosed belt converyor running out to the existing concrete structure. An existing 12,000-bph leg also can send grain to the bulkweigher.

The 60,000-bph InterSystems bulk weigh loadout scale is equipped with an InterSystems MasterWeigh Millennium controller and is capable of loading a 110-car train in about 12 hours. Foltz notes that Scoular has loaded several trains at Coolidge since the project was completed.

The company brought in RailWorks Track Group, Jacksonville, FL (866 905-7245), to build a milelong siding track adjacent to the BNSF main line from used 112-lb. rail and wood ties. The siding is long enough to hold an entire unit train without decoupling.

Also built adjacent to the new tracks is a 190-foot HABCO trolley fall protection unit spanning the length of three covered hopper cars. “We’ve had to do our share of finetuning and personnel training (on the new construction),” Foltz says, “but or the most part, it’s worked out real well.”  Ed Zdrojewski, editor

Harvest-Time Flexibility

The fall harvest rush is a challenging time for most elevator managers, but it was particularly tough at the 1.3-million-bushel facility operated by DeBruce Grain Inc. at Clarks, NE.

Manager Beay Heppler notes that prior to the 2002 harvest, the concrete elevator had only 10 tanks for storage and one for blending, which limited the facility’s flexibility when large quantities of both corn and soybeans are coming in by the semiload.

It helped that the Clarks elevator had up to 4 million bushels worth of additional space to store corn in a temporary pile outdoors. “But we were still having to ship grain at harvest instead of waiting on the market to keep the elevator from filling up completely,” says Heppler, who became manager at Clarks in April 2002 following three years as a merchandiser at a DeBruce elevator in Fremont, NE. Sometimes, all it takes to relieve the harvest pressure is a little more storage space.

DeBruce management studied the situation at Clarks and concluded that would be the case there. The company built a new 360,000-bushel jumpform concrete tank at the east end of the elevator, along a Union Pacific main line and U.S. Highway 30.

The Project
DeBruce Grain hired McPherson Concrete Storage, McPherson, KS to construct the new tank. McPherson recently had completed the construction of two similar jumpform tanks at another DeBruce elevator in Nebraska City, NE, and the company had been pleased with their work there.

Construction on the tank at Clarks began in mid-April and was completed on Sept. 25, just in time for the 2002 harvest.

Heppler comments that concrete was the way to go on the project, given its durability when frequently filled and emptied. In order to deal with unfavorable soil conditions, however, the new tank required a series of concrete pilings 100 feet deep beneath the foundation.

The new tank stands 60 feet in diameter and 140 feet tall. The flat-bottom tank is outfitted with a Bobcat door to admit a skid steer loader for cleanout. It also is equipped with a four-cable Rolfes grain temperature monitoring system and Monitor Technologies level indicators.

At this point, the tank is not aerated, but in-floor ducting and fittings for aeration fans were included so that it can be added later. The tank also has two 2-hp roof exhausters and slots or three additional exhausters, for when an aeration system is completed.

An overhead 20,000-bph Hi Roller enclosed belt conveyor, with a 42-inch
belt, carries grain out to the new tank from the facility’s main concrete house. A 40,000-bph Hi Roller, constructed above-ground, takes reclaim grain back to existing legs.

Cushion Spout
Like the tanks built at Nebraska City, the new tank at Clarks is equipped with a DeBruce “cushion spout,” which serves as a sort of external grain
ladder for the tank. The cushion spout was designed by DeBruce engineers, with assistance from HABCO. Unlike the spouts at Nebraska City, which were 60 feet long and had one inlet into the tank, the spout at Clarks is 85 feet long and has two inlets, at 55 feet (A) and 95 feet (B) up the tank

Incoming grain drops down the cushion spout to the 55-foot inlet (A), which interrupts the fall of the grain and protects it from breakage. As the tank fills, a level indicator shuts off the deadbox gate at the 55- foot level and opens the gate at 95 feet. When the tank is filled to that
level, a two-way diverter sends grain to another spout on top of the tank.   Ed Zdrojewski, editor


The rich farmland of north central Kansas presented a prime marketing opportunity to ship hard red winter wheat and grain sorghum to domestic and overseas customers for Scoular Co., the regional grain merchandiser based in Omaha, NE. That was the prime motivating factor in 2002, when Scoular purchased the privately-held, 625,000-bushel Tetlow Grain Co. elevator in Downs, KS from owner John Tetlow.

According to Curt Engel, general manager for Scoular’s grain handling operations based in Salina, KS, the Downs location offered a lot of plusses for the company. “It was in a prime location, with sufficient trackage to handle 100-car shuttle trains,” he says. The facility is located on the Kyle Railroad, a short-line connecting with the Union Pacific in Salina. What the facility didn’t have, Engel notes, was a high-speed bulk weigh loadout system, sufficient upright storage for loading trains, or enough truck unloading capacity for the peak harvest season.

The Scoular Co. and Morrison Ventures Inc., Salina, formed a joint venture, Solomon Valley LLC, to purchase and upgrade the facility. Cost of the upgrade project is confidential.
Solomon Valley hired McPherson Concrete Storage, McPherson, KS as the builder of two new jumpform concrete tanks.

While the site already had sufficient trackage to handle 100-car trains, numerous ties and portions of track needed to be replaced to handle newer high-capacity covered hopper cars. Construction broke ground near the end of December 2002, and the new tanks were ready to be filled at wheat harvest in June 2003. Scoular loaded its first shuttle train in September

The Solomon Valley LLC rail-loading terminal at Downs, KS includes a 1.12-million-bushel jumpform concrete train-loading annex. McPherson Concrete built two new jumpform concrete tanks at the east end of the property. Both are 144 feet tall, but one is 76 feet in diameter, holding 545,000 bushels, and the other is 78 feet in diameter, holding 575,000 bushels.

The two flat-bottom tanks are equipped with Bobcat doors, eliminating the need for a sweep auger. Both tanks also are equipped with monitor level indicators. A set of four Alanco 50-hp centrifugal fans per tank provide 1/10 cfm per bushel worth of aeration through a downdraft system. Air enters the tanks through roof venting.

HABCO crews installed a 900-bushel mechanical receiving pit between the two tanks. A 20,000-bph InterSystems drag conveyor feeds grain from the pit into the boot section of a 20,000-bph InterSystems leg. The leg is outfitted with 20x8 Tiger Tuff heavy-duty, low-profile buckets on 7-inch centers, mounted on a 22-inch Goodyear belt. The belt is driven by a pair of 75-hp Siemens motors through a pair of Dodge speed reducers, and is operating at a belt speed of 720 fpm. The head section of the leg delivers grain directly to a eight-hole Hayes & Stolz distributor. The distributor discharges to the new tanks either via gravity spouts, down a pair of 20,000-bph InterSystems drag conveyors with several intermediate outlets into the tanks or directly to the CompuWeigh bulk weigher.

Each of the new tanks have side-draw spouts to conveyors leading to both the rail-loading and truck receiving legs. Alternatively, they empty onto 20,000-bph InterSystems drag conveyors in below- ground tunnels, which transport grain back to the receiving leg. The 45,000-bph shipping leg, which is outfitted with two rows of 20x8 Tiger Tuff low-profile buckets mounted on a 44-inch Goodyear belt. This leg delivers grain directly to a 50,000-bph CompuWeigh bulk weigh load-out system, under the control of a CompuWeigh GMS-4000 control system.

The system includes CompuWeigh’s SmartLoad option which automatically cycles the first two drafts of the succeeding car to minimize equipment shutdown.  A trackside 240-foot HABCO trolley-type rail system protects workers atop railcars for four car lengths.

HABCO crews also installed a 20,000-bph Hi Roller enclosed belt conveyor, running above-ground from the main concrete workhouse to the loadout leg, providing another option for moving grain to the bulkweigher. In addition to the loadout annex, Solomon Valley installed a new 80-foot Apollo pitless truck scale for weighing incoming grain trucks. Ahead of the scale is a new Gamet truck probe.

Shorter Lines, Happier Truckers

During the 2004 harvest, the truck lines during the summer and fall harvest seasons at the Two Rivers Consumers Cooperative Association elevator in Geuda Springs, KS, sometimes took as long as an hour and 40 minutes to negotiate.

“This caused a lot of tension for our producers, especially between haulers using semis and haulers with smaller trucks,” comments General Manager Kevin Kelly, a 22-year veteran of the Arkansas City, KS-based coop.

The long lines, as much as anything, was the reason the Two Rivers board of directors authorized a $1.3 million project to add 320,000 bushels worth of upright concrete storage, install new 15,000-bph grain handling equipment, and reroute truck traffic through the property.

Making these upgrades necessitated the removal of two steel buildings from the south side of the Geuda Springs property. One was used for inventory and equipment storage, while the other housed a liquid nitrogen and chemical blending operation.

The coop moved the fertilizer plant into another building on the north side of the property that had been leased to a local custom harvester.

This building was remodeled to include a regulation concrete containment with sloped floor. The new containment holds all of the plant’s fertilizer and chemical storage tanks, mixing equipment, and truck-loading equipment.

For the new construction, Two Rivers hired McPherson Concrete Storage, McPherson, KS to construct two 160,000-bushel jumpform concrete tanks. "We’ve used McPherson tanks for a lot of years and have been really happy with them,” Kelly comments. “Leaming is located only 12 miles away, across the state line, and they’ve provided excellent service in terms of maintenance and repairs over the years.” Teardown of the old buildings began in November 2004. The project was completed in June 2005, in time for wheat harvest.

McPherson built a pair of 160,000-bushel jumpform concrete tanks standing 44 feet in diameter and 120 feet tall. These flat-bottom tanks are outfitted with 10-inch Hutchinson/Mayrath sweep augers, five-cable Rolfes@Boone grain temperature monitoring systems, Binmaster level monitors, and sidedraw spouts for truck loading.

A pair of 20-hp Tiernan centrifugal fans on the bottom and a 2-hp exhaust fan on the top pull air up through the grain mass at a rate of approximately 1/12 cfm per bushel. Adjacent to the new tanks, a pair of 250-bushel mechanical receiving pits feed grain to a 15,000-bph leg manufactured by Leaming Construction. The leg is outfitted with two rows of Maxi-Lift HDMax 12x8 buckets mounted on 10-inch centers on a 27-inch Scandura PVC belt from Rubber Belting & Hose and is powered by a 100-hp Baldor motor and Dodge speed reducer.

The leg deposits grain into a sixhole Leaming Construction rotary distributor. From there, grain can reach the four new tanks or a 3,500-bushel overhead truck-loading surge tank via 16-inch gravity spouting with highimpact Rhino-Hyde urethane liner from Rubber Belting & Hose. Grain also can reach two existing tanks via an overhead conveyor.z

The new tanks are emptied by Hutchinson/Mayrath augers, which convey grain to one of the new receiving pits. In addition, Two Rivers installed a 30-foot-tall dryer leg, which takes grain from an existing dryer and boosts it into one of the new tanks. “So far,” Kelly notes, “we’ve reduced the waiting time to deliver grain to less than 15 minutes and have created substantial savings.”  Ed Zdrojewski, editor.

New Shuttle Loader

Prior to 2003, United Farmers Cooperative was able to load 100-car shuttle trains at its two elevators in Shelby, NE, but it couldn’t quite make the Union Pacific Railroad’s (UP) 15-hour time limit to avoid demurrage charges.

Fixing that problem was the focus of a major expansion at the coop’s east elevator in Shelby, says General Manager Jerry Johnson, completed in September 2003. The coop added a huge 440,000-bushel jumpform concrete tank, roughly doubling the elevator’s storage capacity, and installed a 60,000-bph bulk weigh loadout scale.

“Now we can load a corn and a soybean train back to back, and we can load a 100- car train in under 10 hours,” says Area Manager Dan McBride.

After reviewing design proposals from four construction firms, United Farmers selected Frisbie Construction Co. Inc., Gypsum, KS (785-536-4288), as contractor and millwright on the project and McPherson Concrete Storage, McPherson, KS as concrete tank builder. Construction broke ground in February 2003. Cost of the project is confidential.

Concrete Storage
McPherson constructed the new tank at the west end of the elevator. It stands 72 feet in diameter and 124 feet tall. The flat-bottom tank is outfitted with a 12-inch Vault sweep auger but no temperature monitoring system. A set of four Tiernan 30-hp centrifugal fans provide 1/10 cfm per bushel worth of aeration in corn. Meanwhile, Frisbie crews installed a 1,000-bushel enclosed mechanical receiving pit on the south side of the elevator, outfitted with a E.J. Heck & Sons dust suppression system.

A 20,000-bph GSI enclosed belt conveyor from the pit feeds into a new GSI 60,000-bph combination receiving and loadout leg located between the existing elevator and the new tank. The leg is equipped with three rows of Tapco 20x8 heavy-duty, low-profile buckets, mounted on a 64-inch Scandura belt, supplied by Rubber Belting & Hose.

The leg is powered by dual-drive Dodge Reliance 200-hp motors, which allows the leg to be operated at half capacity if one of the motors should fail.

At the top of the leg, a three-way diverter valve can send grain either to the new tank, to the bulkweigher, or to the existing concrete house via a pair of 20,000-bph GSI drag conveyors. The new tank empties at 60,000- bph via gravity spout into the new leg boot. A Frisbie 15,000-bph auger is used to complete cleanout.

A new 30,000-bph Hi Roller enclosed belt conveyor in an existing tunnel collects grain from the east two tanks and takes it to the new leg, while the west two tanks gravity directly to the boot section of the leg.

The leg, operating at full capacity, can deliver grain to a new 60,000-bph InterSystems bulk weigh loadout scale under the control of AGRIS oneWeigh® software. The system includes an AGRIS SmartPassTM RF tag reader.   Ed Zdrojewski, editor

Local Option

Producer-members of LeRoy Coop Association have made their wishes quite clear – they prefer to hold their crops locally than ship them to a rail terminal. That saves on fuel costs and often provides a better basis.

That was good reason for expanding storage at the cooperative’s Westphalia, KS branch elevator but not the only one, says Westphalia Manager Butch Ludolph. (Ludolph joined the coop in 1996 after managing a trucking company.)

Producers are planting more corn acreage than they used to, which yields a higher bushel volume of grain than wheat or sorghum. Ludolph notes that corn has a higher feed value than the other two grains, and the construction of a new ethanol plant nearby in Garnett, KS, will boost demand for corn even further. And adding a new, higher-capacity receiving pit will move the trucks in and out of the coop’s in-town location faster during harvest. And the site on Warne Street has space for four more upright concrete tanks, in addition to the two constructed this year.

LeRoy Coop hired McPherson Concrete Storage, McPherson, KS to build a pair of 200,000-bushel jumpform concrete tanks.

Construction on the project began in late May 2004 with the demolition of an old warehouse, a building that had stood on the site since 1892 but was not in salvageable state. (The coop is building a new warehouse for equipment one block to the east.) The project was completed in early August 2005 just in time for fall harvest. The cost is confidential.

Annex Specifications
The two large tanks stand 52 feet in diameter and 112 feet tall. The flatbottom tanks are outfitted with 12- inch Hutchinson/Mayrath sweep augers, eight-cable Rolfes@Boone grain temperature monitoring systems, and BinMaster mechanical full-bin indicators.

A set of two 30-hp AIRLANCO centrifugal fans per tank provide 1/10 cfm per bushel worth of aeration through infloor ducting in an “H” pattern, with the assistance of three 2-hp roof exhausters per
tank. Adjacent to the new tanks, crews dug a new 400-bushel mechanical receiving pit. The new pit feeds a 15,000-bph Frisbie leg, which is outfitted with 18x8 Tapco heavy-duty buckets on 9-inch centers, mounted on a 20-inch IBT PVC belt.

The leg deposits grain into a six-hole Schlagel electronic rotary distributor, which in turn, sends grain onto a pair of 15,000-bph InterSystems drag conveyors running out to the new tanks.

The tanks are outfitted with sidedraw spouts for truck-loading or can be emptied by Frisbie augers back into the new leg. The distributor also can reach a 2,300-bushel surge tank, which is used for overhead truck loading. “It will take 4-1/2 to five minutes to unload a semi load of 1,200 bushels of corn,” Ludolph says.   Ed Zdrojewski, editor

Jumpform Replacement

Back in the 1970s, when the Commodity Credit Corp. paid grain handlers to store government- owned grain, many elevator managers found it profitable to erect a lot of small, inexpensive, steel storage tanks to hold that grain.

Those days are long gone, and until last fall, Farmers Union Cooperative
Co. found itself in possession of nearly 200,000 bushels worth of obsolete steel tanks at its truck house in Friend, NE.

Last year, the cooperative board agreed to replace those tanks with a new 200,000- bushel jumpform concrete tank. General Manager Ed Menke, who took over his position in January following the retirement of 13-year veteran General Manager Dennis Heng, says the board also decided to add a new receiving pit and leg. “An extra dump pit helps keep the trucks moving,” he says.

For the project, Farmers Union Cooperative hired McPherson Concrete Storage, McPherson, KS to build the jumpform concrete tank. Menke notes that this team has built two other concrete tanks at Friend. Work on the $800,000 project got underway in September 2004 and was completed by December.

The Upgrade
The new tank, officially rated at 183,000 bushels capacity, stands 50 feet in diameter and 116 feet tall. The flat-bottom tank is outfitted with a 10-inch Klean Sweep sweep auger and seven-cable Rolfes@Boone grain temperature monitoring system. Up to 1/10 cfm per bushel of aeration on corn is provided by a pair of 50-hp AIRLANCO centrifugal fans and three 2-hp roof exhausters.

The new 300-bushel mechanical receiving pit is located between the new tank and the two older McPherson jumpform tanks. It feeds a new 10,000- bph GSI leg, which is outfitted with 13x7 Maxi-Lift HD-MAX Hypro buckets mounted on a 14-inch Scandura rubber belt supplied by All-State Belting.

The leg empties grain into a six-hole CMF rotary distributor. One of the holes is capped off for now. The rest of the openings allow grain to move into the two older jumpforms via gravity spout, onto a 10,000-bph GSI drag conveyor running out to the new tank, or onto an existing drag conveyor running back to the main workhouse.

The new tank has a pair of sidedraws for loading trucks or another sidedraw that empties back into the new receiving pit via gravity.

“So far, everything has worked great,” Menke commented in June, noting that the new tank had been filled with corn over the winter and has not yet been emptied.   Ed Zdrojewski, editor

River Terminal Expansion

DeBruce Grain Inc.’s Missouri River barge- and rail-loading terminal in Nebraska City, NE, has been one of the regional grain company’s larger facilities. At the beginning of 2001, DeBruce Grain had roughly 850,000 bushels worth of upright concrete storage and about 2.5 million bushels worth of flat storage.

According to Area Manager Marvin Hachmeister, at DeBruce Grain’s headquarters office in Kansas City, MO, the terminal needed more storage capacity and faster equipment in order to continue serving farmer-customers. “The size of farming operations continues to grow, and more farmers are driving semis,” he says. “We needed more speed to handle the volume of grain that was surging during harvest.”

In the summer of 2001, DeBruce Grain undertook a year-long project to add roughly 1.27 million bushels of upright concrete storage at Nebraska City, upgrade receiving capacity in the existing concrete house, and upgrade rail and barge loading capacity, and additionally, a 2-million bushel ground pile system.

For this project, the company hired McPherson Concrete Storage, McPherson, KS to build a pair of 635,000-bushel jumpform concrete tanks. The tanks were completed in time for fall harvest. All work on the project is scheduled for completion in July 2002.

New Storage
According to Nebraska City Location Manager Ray Pinney, the new McPherson flat-bottom tanks stand 80 feet in diameter and 140 feet tall. They are equipped with Bobcat doors to admit front end loaders for emptying the tanks. Because DeBruce Grain anticipates quick turnaround on the new tanks, they have neither grain temperature monitoring equipment nor aeration. However, the concrete floors contain ductwork, and aeration could be added as needed in the future.

Adjacent to the new tanks is a 750- bushel gravity receiving pit. As of press time, HABCO was in the process of installing a dust collection system utilizing a cyclone-type dust reclaim system, plus an oil-type dust suppression system on the pit. The pit feeds a 20,000-bph GSI receiving leg, which is outfitted with 20x8 Maxi-Lift Tiger-Tuff low-profile

At the top of the leg, grain has two routes into the tanks, separated by a two-way diverter valve. To fill the bottom half of the tanks, grain is sent down Rhino-Hyde-lined spouts running down the side of each tank, entering the tank about halfway down. By breaking the grain’s fall, this reduces damage and breakage.

Once the tanks are filled to the level of the spout entrance, grain is diverted onto a pair of 20,000-bph InterSystems drag conveyors to fill the balance of the tanks. The tanks empty onto a below ground, 50,000-bph Hi Roller Hi- Life belt conveyor, with a 42-inch belt.

The conveyor takes grain to a new 50,000-bph InterSystems loadout leg, which is outfitted with three rows of 16x8 Maxi-Lift Tiger-Tuff low-profile buckets.

Additional Upgrades
At the existing concrete house, workers nearly doubled receiving capacity to 10,500 bph for an inside leg and 15,000 bph on an outside leg. This was done by switching from standard to low-profile buckets and installing new, higher-horsepower Siemens motors and Falk speed reducers.

Still being installed as of press time was a 50,000-bph InterSystems
bulk weigh loadout scale, which will be run by CompuWeigh Grain Management System (GMS) software. The GMS will utilize RF tag readers to calculate origin weights for each railcar, thus speeding up the loading of shuttle trains on the Union Pacific.

“The new tanks are in operation now, and they’re working out really well,” Pinney comments.   Ed Zdrojewski, editor

Rebuilding with Concrete

The morning after Memorial Day in 2001, workers at the W.B. Johnston Grain Co. elevator in Shattuck, OK, arrived to find that much of the elevator was gone. In the middle of the night, a tornado had destroyed some 700,000 bushels worth of steel grain storage, a leg, and an overhead fertilizer loadout structure. The facility’s original 1970s-era concrete workhouse survived the storm more or less intact.

While losing so much of the facility was a disaster, it was also an opportunity says Troy Rigel, merchandiser for the privately held, Enid, OK-based grain company. The Shattuck facility could be rebuilt with more storage than it had before and the ability to load 110-car trains on the Burlington Northern Santa Fe. In addition, the company decided to install rail receiving equipment to serve area livestock producers in this “grain deficit” part of western Oklahoma.

Where steel storage once stood, now stand three jumpform concrete tanks holding more than 1 million bushels among them. Also new at Shattuck are two 25,000 bushel legs, a new scale, new rail shed and rail unloading pit, new conveying equipment, and half a mile of new siding track.

The Project
W.B. Johnston Grain served as its own general contractor on the rebuild. The company hired McPherson Concrete Storage, McPherson, KS was brought in to construct the jumpform concrete tanks. Construction began in August 2002, and everything was completed by August 2003.

Jumpform Concrete
McPherson Concrete built three jumpform concrete tanks holding 450,000 bushels each. The tanks, which have 37-degree concrete hopper bottoms, stand 72 feet in diameter and 132 feet tall. HABCO fabricated an inclined auger to assist with unloading.

The tanks contain no grain temperature monitoring system or aeration, though cutouts are available to install an aeration system later, if needed. They do have Monitor rotary level monitors and a Kistler-Morse
ultrasound level detection system.

Grain Handling Equipment
Between the new tanks and the old concrete house, two new 25,000-bph InterSystems legs were installed. “We wanted the flexibility to empty two tanks at once or to handle wheat and corn simultaneously,” says Rigel.

The legs are outfitted with 20x8 Maxi Lift Tiger Tuff low-profile buckets on 7-inch centers. At the top of the legs, grain passes through a Rapat distributor, which can send it via gravity chute to the old concrete house, to loadout, or onto a 50,000-bph Hi Roller Hi Life overhead enclosed belt conveyor running out to the new storage tanks. The operator has the option of running grain through a 10,000-bph GSI screenerscalper located on top of the old concrete structure.

The grain receiving part of the project included the installation of an 45-foot-long rail receiving pit underneath a rail shed structure.

The pit empties onto a 50,000-bph InterSystems drag conveyor leading to the new leg boot sections. The new legs also receive grain from the new tanks, which empty onto 50,000-bph Hi Roller Hi Life enclosed belt conveyors outfitted with 48-inch belts, housed in a below-ground 12- foot-x-10-foot tunnel to provide easy access to maintenance crews.

The facility utilizes a new 50,000- bph InterSystems bulk weigh loadout
scale, under the control of Unibridge software. For grain receiving, the system includes a trackside RF tag reader, which provides car capacity to the bulk weigh system. Grain inspectors working in an adjacent shed can access the software to input an official grade, and the data is downloaded to W.B. Johnston’s grain accounting software for final settlement.

Incoming truck deliveries also make use of electronic technology, as a bar code reader on a card issued to truckers reads tare weight and truck ownership data prior to weighing.   Ed Zdrojewski, editor