Farmers Elevator Faces Increasing Yields, Faster Harvest Operations

Annex Across the Street


Farmers Elevator Co. of Platte
Platte, SD • 605-337-3356
Storage capacity: 1.1 million bushels at one location
Annual volume: 3.5 million bushels
Annual revenues: $23 million
Number of members: 400+
Number of employees: 4
Crops handled: Hard red winter and spring wheat, corn, soybeans, sorghum, sunflowers, oats
Services: Grain handling and merchandising, feed, dry fertilizer, chemicals
Key personnel:

  • Brad Pranger, general manager
  • Trina Olsen, bookkeeper
  • Paul Baas, outside labor
  • Jered Groon, outside labor

Supplier List
Aeration fans ......
Sukup Mfg. Co.
Bin sweep ..................... Sudenga Industries Inc.
Bucket elevator ...... Schlagel Inc.
Catwalk ........... D&W Industries
Control system .. Frandsen Electric
Conveyors ............... Schlagel Inc.
Distributor ............. Schlagel Inc.
Elevator buckets ....... Tapco Inc.
Engineering ................. American Technical Services
Grain temperature system ....... TSGC Inc.
Leg belting ................... Goodyear Conveyor Belting
Level indicators ........ BinMaster Level Controls
Liner ........ Tandem Products Inc.
Millwright ...... D&W Industries
Motors ................ Reliance Electric
Speed reducers ................. Dodge
Steel storage ..... Behlen Mfg. Co.
Steel tank erection ......... Dakota Bin Erectors
Surge tank .. Meridian Mfg. Group
Tower support system ... D&W Industries 

The four employees who make up Farmers Elevator Co. of Platte in Platte, SD will be very happy to have a new steel annex across the street from their main elevator, once fall harvest gets seriously underway in October. “We’re expecting our biggest fall crop ever,” says General Manager Brad Pranger. “I’d say we had our normal amount of rain, but it was very timely. We had the right amount of rain, without any drowned out spots.” With south central South Dakota producers using ever-larger harvesting equipment, he adds, his single-location cooperative must keep adding storage and handling capacity to remain competitive. This year, the coop added a 315,000-bushel Behlen steel tank, a third receiving pit, and 15,000-bph grain handling equipment across the street from the main elevator. Pranger, who started with Farmers Elevator in 1997 and has been manager for three years, says the coop selected D&W Industries, Sioux Falls, SD (605-336-0435), as contractor and millwright. D&W has done all of the construction work at Farmers Elevator since the 1970s. Frandsen Electric, Platte (605-337- 3763), served as electrical contractor. Construction began in October 2008 and was completed in May 2009. The cost is confidential.

Steel Annex
The new Behlen tank stands 78 feet in diameter, 69 feet tall at the eave, and 90 feet tall at the peak. Stiffeners are on the inside of the tank, which includes a 9-inch Sudenga sweep auger and a 14-cable TSGC grain temperature monitoring system. The tank is outfitted with full floor aeration, for storage of higher moisture grain as needed. A pair of 60-hp Sukup centrifugal fans provides at least 1/5 cfm per bushel of aeration. “It will blow the cap off your head,” Pranger comments. Adjacent to the new tank is a 160- bushel mechanical receiving pit. This feeds into a 15,000-bph Schlagel leg, which is equipped with 20x8 Tapco heavy-duty buckets mounted on a 22- inch Goodyear Pathfinder belt. D&W fabricated the support tower with wrap-around staircase and catwalk. The leg deposits grain into a four hole Schlagel electronic rotary distributor. One hole feeds a 15,000-bph Schlagel overhead drag conveyor running out to the new tank, and a second feeds a gravity spout into a 2,500- bushel Meridian surge tank for truck loading. The other two holes are dedicated to future expansion. The tank empties onto an 8,000- bph Schlagel reclaim conveyor running back to the new leg.