GOTHENBURG, NEBRASKA, U.S. — In preparation for the fall 2018 harvest Country Partners Cooperative anticipated all-time high yields for both soybeans and corn. The co-op has taken several measures to accommodate the needs of its producers of additional “speed and space.”
Most recently, Country partners began accepting dry corn at its Gothenburg East permanent corn storage bunker. This stand-alone site includes two scales, inbound and outbound, and office, sampling equipment and high-speed drive over conveyors. This site provides a quick and efficient dumping experience for dry corn with the unloading conveyers moving an average of 45,000 bushels per hour. In its final stage, this site will accommodate over six million bushels of corn at harvest time. Currently, three bunkers, each with a capacity of 1.1 million bushels, are available for producers’ bin-busting crop.
The additional corn storage capacity allows Country Partners more timely and strategic marketing through its 110-car Union Pacific shuttle loader, in addition to expanding corn origination capacity.
The co-op also added facilities at Cedar Rapids, Iowa, U.S., to maximize owners’ soybean harvest. The facility includes two new bins that together provide 1.5 million bushels of additional upright steel storage and 20,000 bushels per hour dumping capacity. It is designed to handle soybeans and allow for faster dumping speeds at harvest for current and future producers’ needs. The average time spent at the Cedar Rapids facility to bring in a load of soybeans has been 6 to 8 minutes, said Brian Cornwell, location manager, minimizing producers’ time away from their farms and fields.
The increased storage space reduces expensive seasonal transfers and improves merchandising opportunities through the elimination of forced sales at harvest time. The co-op noted that modernized facilities like this better position Country Partners for the future to serve members with more efficient grain handling practices to compete under tight profit margins.
Even before the international tariff issues, Country Partners took proactive measures to create grain storage space. This includes bagging over 100,000 bushels of beans, taking 200,000 bushels of grain at a retired elevator facility and creating additional corn ground pile storage at its Arnold facility to free-up 500,000 bushels of upright storage for beans.
“I’m happy with the steps we’ve taken to offer absolutely as much grain storage as possible for our producers in this extreme situation with bumper crops and almost non-existent been marketing abilities,” said Scott Hillius, vice-president of grain at Country Partners.