Meadowland Farmers Cooperative, which is headquartered in Lamberton, is in the planning stages of putting on a 2.8 million bushel grain storage structure at its facility in Walnut Grove. The proposed grain storage will be located to the south of the 5 million bushel flat storage structure that was put up during 2006.
“We are in need of more storage, obviously,” said Pete Valentin, grain merchandiser for Meadowland. “Some of the equipment in Walnut Grove is in need of repair and needs to be updated. So, we just decided that instead of remodeling, we would just put up new dumps on the south side and add some storage.”
Valentin added that eventually the current two grain dumps at the Walnut Grove facility will be closed and just the new receiving area will be running.
“All of the storage that is there will still be used,” Valentin said.
“Just the two old receiving areas will be closed,” he added. “They will be eliminated over time.”
Meadowland officials hope construction will start in March, with completion before this fall’s harvest.
“The new storage will be cement silos and a steel bin,” Valentin said. “There will be a four-pack slip, like the one in Lamberton. In addition, we will be putting in a 10,000 bushel per hour dryer.”
Valentin explained that the current facility lies inside the City of Walnut Grove. The proposed addition, however, will be in the township. He said they are in the process of dealing with both the county and Walnut Grove for the building permit, as portions of the project could end up in either, or both areas.
“We need to get the whole thing laid out to see which parts are going to be what,” Valentin said. “We still have some work to do before construction can begin.”
With this past year’s bumper crop, most elevators in southern Minnesota were forced to pile corn on the ground, which can impact the price the elevator then gets for its corn down the road. Losses can be anywhere from 15 to 25 cents per bushel when piling corn on the ground.
Building additional storage would seem like a no-brainier to cut down on losses. Meadowland, too, piled its fair share of corn on the ground this past season, but Valentin said the situation isn’t that cut and dried.
“There are costs associated with piling corn on the ground, yes,” he said, “but there are costs, ongoing costs, associated with adding storage.
“You have the initial cost of construction, maintenance, insurance and taxes. The Walnut Grove project really isn’t about that. Over there, we really did have to do something, because upgrades were needed.”