First Expansion in 28 Years


Central Valley Ag
York, NE • 402-362-0246


Founded: 2003
Storage capacity: 86 million bushels at 50 locations
Annual volume: 130 million bushels
Annual sales: $1.1 billion
Number of members: 10,000+
Number of employees: 673
Crops handled: Corn, soybeans, hard red winter wheat, sorghum, oats
Services: Grain handling and merchandising, agronomy, energy, feed, marketing services

Key personnel:
• Carl Dickenson, CEO
• Allan Zumpfe, Senior Vice President-Grain
• Bryan Reichmuth, Senior Vice President-Operations
• Keith Borer, Director-Business Operations
• Keith Gillham, Regional Operations Manager
• Jerry Schrage, Petersburg Location Manager
• Stan Kallhoff, Maintenance/Projects
Supplier List
Aeration fans...............AIRLANCO
Bin sweep...............Springland Mfg.
Bucket elevator............Schlagel Inc.
Catwalks..... LeMar Industries Corp.
Contractor....J & D Construction Inc.
Conveyors....................Schlagel Inc.
Distributor..................Schlagel Inc.
Electrical contractor....Boyd Electrical Service
Elevator buckets.............Tapco Inc.
Grain temperature system...Tri-States Grain Conditioning Inc.

Millwright....J & D Construction Inc.
Steel storage..........Behlen Mfg. Co., Meridian Mfg. Inc.
Millwright....J & D Construction Inc.
Steel storage..........Behlen Mfg. Co., Meridian Mfg. Inc.
Tower support system...........LeMar Industries Corp.

Jerry Schrage took over the operation of Central Valley Ag’s branch elevator at Petersburg, NE (402-386-5483), in 2007 after working as a mechanic at a John Deere dealership in nearby Albion, NE. For the last five years of that time, he’s been lobbying the cooperative board for an expansion at its 800,000-bushel Petersburg location.

“The most recent tank had been built back in 1986,” he says. “We were looking at the need for about $1 million in repairs even without an expansion.

“Our bushel volume has been up year after year,” he continues. “We were shipping out 300,000 bushels of beans and corn to other locations during harvest. And we were taking in only 7,000 bph, and that was with two legs.”

Finally, in 2014, Schrage was given the go-ahead to add a 750,000-bushel corrugated steel tank and an adjacent receiving pit and 20,000-bph leg.

Central Valley hired J & D Construction, Inc., Montevideo, MN (320-226-2336), as general contractor and millwright on the estimated $3 million project. “They had done projects for us before, and they were available,” says Schrage.

Electrical and control systems were installed by Boyd Electric, Clearwater, NE (402-887-4653).

Work began in mid-to-late April and was completed by mid-to-late September.

Project Specifications

Workers constructed a 750,000-bushel Behlen corrugated steel tank standing 105 feet in diameter, 92 feet tall at the eave, and 120 feet tall at the peak.

The new tank is equipped with a flat concrete floor, outside stiffeners, 16-inch Springland sweep auger, and 24-cable TSGC grain temperature monitoring system. A set of four 40-hp AIRLANCO centrifugal fans provide 1/10 cfm per bushel of aeration through in-floor ducting with the assistance of 10 roof exhausters.

Incoming grain for the new storage is deposited into a 1,000-bushel mechanical receiving pit adjacent to the new tank. The pit feeds a new 20,000-bph Schlagel leg equipped with a single row of Tapco 20x8 heavy-duty buckets mounted on a 22-inch Goodyear belt.

At the top of the leg, grain is deposited into a five-hole Schlagel rotary distributor, and from there, grain is moved via 20,000-bph overhead Schlagel drag conveyors out to storage or via gravity into a 3,600 Meridian steel surge bin for truck loading. The legs and distributor are supported by a LeMar 14-foot-x-14-foot support tower equipped with a switchback staircase.

Fill conveyors out to the existing 72-foot-diameter tanks were replaced with new Schlagel 20,000-bph models to speed up grain handling. A catwalk and support towers were added to freespan the new fill conveyors over to the 72-foot tanks. Tanks empty onto another 20,000-bph Schlagel drag conveyor in an aboveground tunnel running back to the new receiving pit and leg.

“It (the addition) is working very well,” Schrage comments. “The entire soybean harvest went without a hitch, with little or no wait to dump.”

Ed Zdrojewski, editor