Darrell Henkenius is the operations manager for the Farmers Cooperative Elevator Company (FAC), the largest member-owned feed mill in Western Iowa. Located in Arcadia, FAC provides many services to the farming community, the largest of which include grain, feed, and other commodity storage needs. Other operations include agronomy services, lumber, steel, and gas stations.
A need for corn and soybean storage as the largest member-owned feed mill in Western Iowa presented a challenge and a need for a suitable structure. They already had a concrete pad in place and were looking for a building to erect on the existing foundation. After considering their options, FAC selected an Accu-Steel fabric covered building to fulfill their storage needs. “Accu-Steel created a custom design to fit our pad, with a low profile at an affordable cost,” Henkenius explains.
Accu-Steel’s knowledge in the commodities and co-op business helped meet the needs of FAC. In 2002 a Pro-Advantage Series 120 ft. by 450 ft. building was constructed. Today, FAC has two additional Pro Advantage Series buildings —188 ft. by 450 ft. and 100 ft. by 300 ft. buildings.
Fabric Covered Buildings for Quality Grain Storage
Most feed mills use a steel bin or concrete elevator system to store their grain. “Knowing this building would be more useful to us throughout the year was a big selling point,” says Henkenius. “Once we get the grain out of it, we store motor equipment, lumber, and steel to keep them dry and out of the elements.”
Quality is very important to FAC, so the traditional method of tarping — which exposes the entire accumulation of grain to the elements — was not an option. Simply adding tarps reduces the length of time the grain stays in condition before it moves through the mill, thereby reducing the overall quality. In addition, advances in technology have increased annual yields, resulting in vastly reduced storage capabilities for FAC. These two factors led them to a fabric-covered building solution and, consequently, to Accu-Steel.
Since the installation of their buildings, FAC has increased the amount of time they have from the placement of the grain into the fabric-covered buildings until it goes to the mill. “Even in the summer we don’t have grain that’s getting wet or hot,” Henkenius adds. The results mean the company is now realizing an increase in the overall quality of their feed — a critical component to the continued success of their business.