New grain facility to add 2 million bushel capacity
Construction completion set for fall harvest
A new concrete wall at US-56 and Kanza Rd. is not Marion County’s own internal border but the first portion of a 2 million bushel storage facility for Cooperative Grain and Supply.
The project began in February, but the facility’s external walls just started going up within the last month because of weather, said Jesse Fenske, manager at Cooperative Grain and Supply.
“It’s dragging on, and the rain is dragging it out further,” he said.
The company’s goal was to have the project completed for the early harvest, but the date has been moved back to fall harvest, Fenske said.
“We were trying to get it done before wheat harvest, but that’s not going to happen,” he said. “It’s just been so wet.”
Maximum capacity will be 2 million bushels, but dividers can be put up to hold different crops at the same time.
“It’ll definitely help us and producers in the area,” Fenske said. “It’s another delivery point.”
Access to the new space will allow the company to use its grain bunker on Ash St. for permanent storage instead of temporary, Fenske said.
Holding commodities in the new facility will decrease how much is lost to spoilage, said Alan Hett, who owns land throughout the county.
“It’s probably more secure than in a bunker,” he said. “Once they cover the bunker, it’s harder to check.”
Another benefit is the new site’s proximity to Countryside Feed, which has the possibility to use the space because Countryside is partially owned by the co-op, Fenske said.
“It could help Countryside and their customers by allowing them to source grain closer to home,” he said.
Having access to the facility works well because the co-op won’t have to pay to hold crops at external sites outside the county, Hett said.
“This way, the co-op can keep that money and make it more profitable,” he said. “There’s no need to give that money to somebody else if they can keep it here.”
Having a larger facility is a benefit for farmers as well, Hett said.
“Anything we can do to keep companies in the area is to our benefit,” he said.
Last modified May 29, 2019