October 1, 2020

Building the ‘Big Three’: MaxYield Upgrades Grain Facilities in Britt, Belmond, Klemme

It’s rare for MaxYield Cooperative to take on three major capital improvements in one fiscal year, but 2020 is no typical year. The time was right to invest in Britt, Belmond and Klemme to serve clients’ needs more effectively.

Work is progressing well on new grain bins at Belmond and in Britt. Both are set to be completed before harvest 2020. Each of the 105-foot-diameter bins will hold approximately 750,000 bushels

Updates in Belmond

of grain. Construction is also nearing completion in Klemme on a new 750,000-bushel bin, 4,000-bushel-per-hour grain dryer, upgraded receiving speed and other infrastructure to modernize the Klemme grain complex.

“All these projects are on track and will be done in time for fall harvest,” said Keith Heim, CEO. MaxYield’s strong financial position makes these major investments possible, he added. “Not only do we have support from clients in these areas, but we’ve continued to strengthen our balance sheet by building working capital and managing cash flow to pay for these grain improvement

projects.”

 

BRITT AND BELMOND BINS TAKE SHAPE

Good spring and summer weather allowed crews to build the bins in Britt and Belmond by June. “We’ve been really fortunate with the weather,” said Jeff Marsh, operations team leader at

Updates in Britt

MaxYield.

Adding more grain storage at Britt means MaxYield will spend less money transporting harvest grain out of Britt to other MaxYield locations. Belmond was also due for upgrades.

“We’re phasing out the old Belmond east soybean receiving facility,” said Frank Uhde, East Area team leader at MaxYield. “This will allow us to position our team members in one location in Belmond. This will make things much more efficient, and team members are excited about this.”

 

UPGRADES IN KLEMME ARE “PHENOMENAL”

Big improvements at Klemme are also generating a lot of excitement. The time is right for these upgrades, especially after a severe storm hit the area in September 2019 and damaged much of Klemme’s grain-handling equipment. This created more challenges at the facility, which had suffered fire damage in 2003 and had been repaired as much as possible.

“If you saw this facility in the last 10 years, you knew it was time for improvements at Klemme,” said Uhde. “These upgrades will be phenomenal.”

In December 2019, MaxYield’s board of directors approved a $4.5 million investment at Klemme, which includes a new 105-foot, 750,000-bushel bin; 4,000-bushel-per-hour grain dryer; upgrades to two existing grain bins for holding wet corn; overhead truck load-out capability and all the infrastructure needed to complete the project, including upgraded grain legs. While the

Updates in Klemme

revamped facility will have the same number of grain dump pits, new grain-leg equipment at the receiving pits will considerably increase receiving capacity.

The new upgrades will be huge, not only to Klemme, but for clients in surrounding areas, Uhde added. “There’s talk all the way up to the Garner area about the Klemme project. This is progress, and I’m excited to see how many new grain receipts start flowing into Klemme.”

This project will wrap up right before harvest, since there are a lot of moving parts, Uhde added. “This is a rebirth of the co-op in Klemme.”

MaxYield directors and managers are looking ahead to determine where capital improvements will be directed throughout the company in 2021. “We’re having these conversations so we can better serve clients throughout all of MaxYield’s trade territory,” Marsh said.

 

WATCH FOR IMPROVEMENTS AT WHITTEMORE

The old wooden grain elevator in Whittemore that has served farmers for decades has seen its last harvest. “This elevator is being discontinued, and we’re upgrading the west elevator so we can speed things up,” said Ron Hutchison, Whittemore location leader for MaxYield Cooperative. “Clients are happy about not having to dump grain at the wood house anymore.”

The time is right to make these changes, since the amount of grain handled at the Whittemore location has nearly doubled in recent years. “We were handling around 2 million bushels of grain a

Grain-handling improvements in Whittemore

season, but now we’re closer to 4 million bushels,” said Hutchison, who noted that much of this increased volume is connected to Whittemore Feeder’s Supply.

Among the grain-handling improvements at Whittemore are upgrades to the distributor on the west elevator from an old-style cable system to an electrical system. Upgraded spouts will be added to the bins at Whittemore, as well.

“Our goal is to make grain handling faster and safer for both corn and soybeans,” said Hutchison, who noted that Whittemore has 1.2 million bushels of grain capacity. “These are definitely good upgrades that will benefit clients in this area.”

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