What started as flat prairie now soars into the sky as the United Grain elevator near Bucyrus flipped the switches and began taking grain in the last week.August 7, 2013
By JAMIE SPAINHOWER
What started as flat prairie now soars into the sky as the United Grain elevator near Bucyrus flipped the switches and began taking grain in the last week.
The project caught the eye of many travelers as the huge cranes lifted pieces and the concrete bins were slipped, growing a bit taller every day.
The plant is almost completely automated, said manager Leif Anderson.
“Right now we’re focusing on spring and winter wheat,” he said. “ A littler farther along we’ll be taking other crops such as durum and corn.”
So far the elevator has taken in 10 to 15 percent of its capacity, which is approximately a million bushels, said Anderson.
Built to take the 110-car train Burlington Northern Sante Fe now prefers, Anderson said their hope is to run 12 or 13 trains a year through the facility.
The state of the art facility means no more waiting to dump during harvest, when long lines can keep drivers out of the fields during the critical windows of time when harvest can take place.
“Our unload process is three minutes or less once over the pit,” said Anderson.
The truck pulls onto the scale, where am electronic probe takes samples, sending the grain through a tube to the scale room, where it is tested for protein, moisture, dockage, and other things. Meanwhile, the truck drives around to dump its load, the ticket is ready by the time the truck is empty and off it goes for another round.
“Our doors are always open for anyone who wants to come visit or take a tour of the facility,” said Anderson.
A Montana native, Anderson grew up in Havre, and has been in the Hettinger area for about 10 years. He and his wife, Larissa, have three children, Owen, Molly and Bella.