Handling the Plentiful Harvest

Local producers are at the height of corn harvest activities right now, but Country Partners Cooperative started preparing for harvest months ago.  Anticipating all-time high yields for both soybeans and corn, Country Partners realized the need for additional “speed and space” to meet producers’ needs this harvest and have taken several measures to optimize their bottom line.

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), an office, sampling equipment, and high-speed drive-over conveyors. This site provides customers a quick and efficient dumping experience for dry corn with the unloading conveyors 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.

This 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

Country Partners Cooperative also added facilities at Cedar Rapids to maximize member 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, according to Location Manager Brian Cornwell, 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. Modernized facilities like this better position Country Partners for the future to serve members with more efficient grain handling practices to compete under tighter 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 bin storage for beans. 

“I’m happy with the steps we’ve taken to offer absolutely as much grain storage capacity as possible for our producers in this extreme situation with bumper crops and almost non-existent bean marketing abilities,” said Scott Hillius, Country Partners’ Vice President of Grain.

Country Partners Cooperative is committed to partnering with member owners to work through challenges of the ag industry.  We are working hard to offer solutions to help patrons optimize efforts and efficiencies in producing the  enormous harvest needed to feed the world.  Together we can!

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