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Published August 11, 2010, 12:00 AM

Grain bin buckles

Mark Jaskowiak received a phone call Friday morning he wasn’t expecting. When Jaskowiak, the general manager of Pro Ag Farmers Co-op, answered his phone around 11 a.m. August 6, he found out that one of the grain bins at the Pro-Ag elevator in Garfield had a kink in it and was starting to tip over.

Mark Jaskowiak received a phone call Friday morning he wasn’t expecting.

When Jaskowiak, the general manager of Pro Ag Farmers Co-op, answered his phone around 11 a.m. August 6, he found out that one of the grain bins at the Pro-Ag elevator in Garfield had a kink in it and was starting to tip over.

A farmer who was at the elevator noticed it and notified the elevator employees.

Although the buckling of a grain bin is rare, Jaskowiak said he has seen it before.

“But it has never happened to me,” he said in a phone interview Monday afternoon.

The grain bin, which was full, was filled with about 30,000 bushels of spring wheat.

After the call came in, Jaskowiak said the area around the feed elevator was secured. Both the Garfield and the Brandon fire departments were on hand, along with the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, just in case the grain bin collapsed to the ground.

There were propane tanks on site that the fire department was concerned about.

Immediately, the spring wheat was drawn out of the collapsing grain bin and put into an empty grain bin via an auger located underneath the bins.

Jaskowiak said the auger and the elevator itself weren’t damaged. Another grain bin right next to the one that was bent was damaged because the bent one was leaning into it.

It took until about midnight to get the wheat from one bin to the next, he said.

The bin that was leaned into is fixable and will likely be repaired within the week. In the meantime, the one that buckled will be taken down and then replaced, according to Jaskowiak.

Walt Johnson Construction was on the scene Friday working on dismantling the conveyor belt on the top of the bins, which is attached to the elevator.

They will be working at the elevator much of this week, said Jaskowiak.

The defective grain bin will probably be taken down by the end of this week, he noted.

When asked if he had any idea of what went wrong, Jaskowiak said, “I have no idea how it happened. And I haven’t had time to talk to anyone about it yet.”

He expects the insurance company to be on scene this week to take a look at the damage and hopefully tell Jaskowiak what might have happened.

As for what the estimated damages amount to, he probably won’t know until later in the week.

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