Facility will have 3.6-million bushel grain storage capability
BROWNTON – Winthrop-based United Farmers Cooperative (UFC) recently announced the creation of a joint venture with ADM-Benson Quinn to build and operate a $29 million, 3.6-million bushel shuttle-loading site near Brownton.
Capable of loading 110-car unit trains of corn or soybeans with four receiving pits, the facility – at a site a quarter mile north of the intersection of U.S. Highway 212 and State Highway 15 – will help open new markets for local farmers to sell products at competitive prices.
“We have to ship more and more out of the area. We need high-speed equipment, adequate storage, and good rail access,” said UFC Winthrop General Manager Jeff Nielsen.
“We’ll be able to load 440,000 bushels of corn or beans in eight hours or less,” (at the new site) Nielsen added.
He said UFC studied the project for a decade before creating a partnership.
“We’ve seen the number of grain bushels increase about four times in recent years.” Nielsen said.
Expected to be operational by Sept. 12, 2012, the site on rail owned by the Twin Cities & Western Railroad, offers service from the Burlington Northern Santa Fe, Canadian Pacific, and Union Pacific railroads.
United Grain Systems (UGS), LLC,, expected to begin operations on or about Feb. 1, 2012, will handle UFC facilities in Winthrop, Lafayette, Klossner, Le Sueur, and Bird Island plus a new shuttle-loader elevator at Brownton.
Storage at the new Brownton site includes four 550,000-bushel steel bins, a 550,000-bushel concrete warehouse and a 1.2-million bushel mechanized grain pile.
Nielsen said the Brownton site will employ 4-6 full-time workers and have future expansion space.
Benson-Quinn executes trades at the Minneapolis Grain Exchange, Kansas City Board of Trade and actively trades future sand options in Chicago and New York.
By: Fritz Busch, New Ulm Journal
Originally posted December 23, 2011; www.nujournal.com
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