If you live near Clarkfield, then you have probably noticed a big construction site just outside of town. Although it can be hard to tell amidst the heavy machinery and excavated earth, the site will soon host a new grain storage shed, which company officials say will open in time for harvest this year.
The company behind the project, Prairie Grain Partners (PGP), is a partnership between ADM/Benson-Quinn and Tri-Line Farmers Cooperative that was formed in 1997. In addition to agronomy centers in Clarkfield and Dovray, PGP also operates grain facilities in Clarkfield and Boyd.
According to General Manager Scott Mauch, construction on the new shed was delayed by about a month. Despite this initial set back, Mauch reports that “construction has gone well” and the shed is expected to begin operation this fall.
The finished structure will be a free span steel building measuring 700 feet long by 240 feet wide. From the floor to the roof, the shed will stand a towering 87 feet with it being 32 feet to the eave. The large dimensions will enable to shed to hold up to 5.1 million bushels of corn (or, about 285 million pounds).
For PGP, the benefits of the new grain storage shed comes down to two things; flexibility and service. Mauch said that the new storage capacity will give PGP the “flexibility to sell corn and beans when the market is right.” He added that owning rail freight at the right time will make transporting corn and soybeans via rail easier. Greater flexibility, consequently, means better service for PGP patrons.
“It is a significant investment for Prairie Grain Partners,” said Mauch, who explained that the expense was “for the betterment of our patrons.” With Tri-Line Farmers Cooperative being a 50% owner, a dividend is paid out yearly to the patrons that do business with PGP.
Construction crews will remain busy at the grain shed site throughout the summer. Depending on the day, there might be as many as 80 people working on the site, though the average number of workers usually fluctuates between 40 and 50 on site. Mauch adds that the project “is a nice economic boost to the area.”