Family Adds Second Mill

Extra Capacity Supplies Growing Livestock Numbers in Northwest Iowa

According to the 2012 U.S. Census of Agriculture, Lyon and Sioux counties in the northwest corner of Iowa are livestock production powerhouses. Between the two counties, the livestock population included 1.9 million hogs and 568,000 cattle. Sioux County ranked number one in the state for hogs and cattle. A new Census is under way as of this writing, but locals will tell you that the number of animals has grown even more since 2012. At family-owned Doon Elevator Co., a single-location grain and feed company in Doon, IA, near the line between the two counties, the growth in livestock numbers meant having to expand feed production capacity.

“We needed more capacity and more speed,” says Vice President Glenn Kelderman, one of three co-owners since 2002, along with brother Keith and President Leonard Hoekstra. “Our older mill did 30 tph, and today, that just doesn’t cut it.”

In 2017, Doon Elevator began production in a new 60-tph, all-steel mill dedicated to swine feed production. Beef and dairy feeds continue to be produced in the older mill. The company is a dealer for Kent and Hubbard feed products. To construct the $3.8 million mill, located right in the middle of Doon Elevator’s grain and feed complex at the south end of town, the company hired D&W Industries, Sioux Falls, SD (800-843-9887), as general contractor and millwright.

“They built a feed mill five years ago near here in Hull (IA) for Hull Coop Association,” Kelderman says. “We were really impressed with it.” (Grain Journal reported on that mill in the May/June 2013 issue.) Kelderman adds that the new mill at Doon Elevator is similar, though not identical, to the one at Hull. Construction began in March 2016, and startup took place on April 1, 2017.

The Mill

The new mill stands on a 56-foot-x-28-foot footprint and is 130 feet tall to the top of the receiving leg. 

Receiving systems are designed to receive ingredients at 7,500 bph. Ingredients are sent to any of 14 ingredient bins holding an average of 600 tons in total. The mill structure also includes 14 finished feed loadout bins holding a total of 280 tons.

Local producers supply all of the corn used for feed manufacturing, which is hauled to the mill from selected tanks in the surrounding elevator, which has a capacity of 2 million bushels. Soy meal is supplied by the Ag Processing Inc processing plant in sheldon, IA, while several area ethanol plants supply distillers grains. 

Incoming corn is ground on a pair of triple-high Lone Star roller mills, each with a capacity of 50,000 lbs. per hour. 

All feed manufacturing operations are under control of an automation system from Easy Automation. 

Ingredients are mixed on a 4-ton Scott double-ribbon mixer running a batch in approximately three minutes. With time for loading and emptying, that's about 15 cycles per hour ofr 60 tbh. Fats and liquids are added directly into the mixer, as well as microingredients from a 12-bin Easy Automation micro system or from a four-1-ton tote system. 

No pelleting or bagging is done at Doon Elevator at this time. 

Bulk Feed is loaded through one of two fixed spouts in a single loadout bay. Doon Elevator operates its own fleet of six tandem-axle straight trucks, which load in an average of five minutes. hired trucks are brought in as needed. Most deliveries are within 40 miles of the mill. 

Doon Elevator Co

Doon, IA • 712-726-3215

Founded: 1958
Grain storage capacity: 2 million bushels at one location
Feed milling capacity: 120 tbh in two mills
Products: Swine, beef, and dairy feeds
Number of employees: 14

Key personnel:

  • Leonard Hoekstra, president
  • Glenn Kelderman, vice president
  • Keith Kelderman, mill manager

Supplier List

Air compressor - Atlas Copco
Automation system - Easy Automation Inc.
Bin level monitors - BinMaster Level Controls
Bucket elevators - Schlagel Inc
Concrete - B&M concrete Co.
Contractor - D&W Industries
Conveyors - Schlagel Inc.
Distributor - Schlagel Inc.
Elevator buckets - Tapco Inc.
Gates/diverters - Schlagel Inc.
Liquid tanks - Schmitz Electric
Magnets - Eriez
Microingredient system - Easy Automation Inc.
Mixer - Scott Equipment Co.
Motion sensors - 4B Components Ltd.
Roller mills - Lone Star Enterprises Inc. 
Scales - Scott Equipment Co.
Scalper - Lone Star Enterprises Inc.
Screw feeders - D&W Industries
Speed reducers - Dodge, Nord Gear Corp.
Square bins - Scott Equipment Co.
Steel buildings - J&J building Contractors