Advertise in Print | Subscriptions
Published April 04, 2013, 05:39 PM

Aberdeen, S.D., gets new private shuttle loader

Surrounded by shuttle loaders and ethanol plants, a new privately owned corn and soybean shuttle loader has just broken ground on a new elevator just west of Aberdeen, S.D.

By: Mikkel Pates, Agweek

FARGO, N.D. — Surrounded by shuttle loaders and ethanol plants, a new privately owned corn and soybean shuttle loader has just broken ground on a new elevator just west of Aberdeen, S.D.

Concord Grain Co. was incorporated Feb. 4 and broke ground on April 1, confirms general manager Myron Jepson. The company is owned by Todd Ochsner, a local farmer, and sits on some of his own farmland along the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad, about six miles west of Aberdeen. The project is scheduled for completion on Sept. 15.

Jepson describes it as a “green field” project.

It will have 2.5 million bushels of storage and a 7,000-bushel-per-hour dryer, and will be provided with three, 20,000-bushel-per-hour dump pits. Storage will be in three, 730,000-bushel (105-foot-diameter) bins and one 360,000-bushel bin. The Brock brand bins will be constructed by Gateway Builders of Fargo, N.D. The facility will employ five people year-around, but will be highly automated, like few others, and could be run by a single person in non-harvest times.

“In this particular area, there is intense competition with South Dakota Wheat Growers, North Central Farmers Cooperative and two ethanol plants (Poet and Glacial Lakes) within 30 miles of the facility,” Jepson says.

Why another?

“The reason is continued growth of both acres and production in this part of north-central South Dakota,” he says. “It even challenges all of that competition to handle grain efficiently: long lines at all of the facilities, limited storage space. The competing facilities, even with all of the ethanol plants going full on their storage capacity, leaving the farmer somewhat in the lurch.”

In the past two years, drying capacity hasn’t been a challenge, but it was three years ago. The challenge is intensified with 3 to 5 percent yield average annual yield increases, formerly idled Conservation Reserve Program land coming into production, and a general expansion of corn acres.

Concord Grain’s elevator is designed around the Pacific Northwest markets. “We have relationships with all of the major players — Louis Dreyfus, Bunge, FGDI, Archer Daniels Midland and Cargill — and all of the above are excited to see continued expansion of the players out here,” Jepson says.

Tags: