Vegetation ManagementAgriculture
April 2014

As farming operations grow larger and yields continue their climb higher, many commer­cial grain facilities are faced with the chal­lenge of handling higher volumes. In a lot of cases, the only solution is to pile grain on the ground, due to a lack of fixed storage. However, one South Dakota co-op, tired of dealing with the spoilage from exposed grain, started thinking outside the bin for a new flexible storage solution.

With headquarters in Ipswich, SD, North Central Farmers Elevator (NCFE) is a full-service co-op with 20 locations. It provides grain handling, agronomy, petroleum, and farm supply products and services to more than 2,500 producer-members in north central South Dakota and south central North Dakota.

Since its original roots dating back to 1915, NCFE has enjoyed the benefits of serving a rich farming area and, as a result, has grown significantly with current annual sales reaching $875 million. During the latest boom in agriculture, however, some of the fixed stor­age facilities at NCFE locations have found it especially difficult to keep up with the high volumes of grain that farmers are selling.

For the Wecota, SD, facility in particular, the eleva­tor had a tough time unloading and loading grain trucks quickly enough to meet demand. “We have very limited dumping capacities with the old elevator here,” said Doug Roggow, Wecota location manager. “As farming operations and combines get bigger, you’ve got to have faster equipment to accommodate them.”…

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