Colorado Cooperative Adds 1.3M Bushels of Grain Storage

CHS members cooperative adds more than 1.3 million bushels of steel storage and a new automation system in Colorado

With 2 million bushels of storage, the CHS rail terminal in Yuma, CO, had plenty of storage space – but not quite enough.

“We wanted to take advantage of the markets,” says General Manager John Ptacnik, who came to the Yuma location in 2000, back when it was M&M Cooperative. (M&M became a member of CHS in 2007.)

“We would fill the bins with wheat, ship it out by train, and then fill them with fall crops,” he says. “In keeping with what the market tells us, we were shipping grain at the wrong time. We were piling too much on the ground the past few years.”

CHS/M&M Cooperative achieved those goals with a pair of 675,000-bushel Sukup Mfg. Co. corrugated steel tanks, one at each end of a long line of tanks oriented north and south

.In addition, the facility needed an upgrade to its control systems, so it rewired the entire facility with a new control system from Kasa Controls & Automation.

To serve as general contractor on the project, CHS kept it local with Quality Storage Solutions LLC.

CHS’ in-house construction division, under the leadership of Jim Gales, designed the project, led contractor procurement efforts, and performed construction management. 

Also on the project, M&M Industrial Construction LLC, Grand Island, NE, served as millwright; 
Global Bin Builders, Iowa Falls, IA , erected the two tanks; and VAA, LLC, Plymouth, MN, performed engineering work.

Groundbreaking took place in December 2020, and operation began in the summer of 2021. Ptacnik commented that the project faced some weather delays during construction.

Steel Addition
The two new Sukup tanks stand 105 feet in diameter, 84-1/2 feet tall at the eaves, and 113 feet tall at the peaks, holding 675,000 bushels each.

The tanks are outfitted with flat floors, outside stiffeners, 15,000-bph Sukup paddle sweeps, 24-cable Rolfes@Boone grain temperature monitoring systems, and BinMaster mechanical level indicators. The north tank also is outfitted with an OSHA-compliant ladder system. Neither tank has a sidedraw.

Each tank is equipped with four Sukup 60-hp centrifugal fans capable of delivering 1/10 cfm per bushel of aeration through in-floor ducting.

Grain reaches the new tanks via AGI Tramco 25,000-bph overhead drag conveyors. The tanks empty onto AGI Hi Roller 25,000-bph enclosed belt conveyors running back to existing legs.

Terminal operations now are under the control of a Kasa automation system. Ptacnik says the facility did have automation prior to 2021, but the new system offers a number of new features at Yuma:
• A preventive maintenance package, including scheduling for housekeeping work.

• The capability of operating the terminal from remote location

• Increased hazard monitoring equipment, including AGI SURETRACK CMC bearing sensors, motion sensors, and rub blocks.
• More efficient train loading as the system allows for simultaneous operation of all gates from storage to the rail loadout.

“So far, everything has worked like a dream,” Ptacnik says.

Ed Zdrojewski, editor

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