Focusing on Ag's Future

Published 10/26 2016 03:05PM

Updated 10/26 2016 06:37PM

Farmers and ranchers are struggling to get their bottom lines in shape during the current cycle of low commodity prices.

But while prices are low, a local elevator is making plans for a booming future.

Jim Olson has the story in our Eye on Agriculture.

Profits are hard to come by right now on the farm. But at SunPrairie in Minot, they're planning for big things in the future.

(Jeremy Burkhart, SunPrairie Grain) "Yeah it's huge for us."

Jeremy Burkhart is talking about what's happening here - northeast of Lansford along Highway 83. a 900,000 bushel concrete elevator will be going up here - alongside a huge rail loop that will allow high-speed loading of long trains hauling grain to market.

(Jeremy Burkhart, SunPrairie Grain) "When everything's up and running we should be able to load a shuttle in about seven hours."

That's half the time it takes at the company's two other unit train loading facilities. Burkhart says farmers will also find things moving more quickly.

(Jeremy Burkhart, SunPrairie Grain) "We're hoping customer experience is good so that from the time they turn off the highway to the time they turn back onto the highway it's five minutes."

That's much less time than farmers can end up sitting right now, waiting to deliver crops. Burkhart says the Lansford construction is the only major project that CHS is undertaking in the current economy.

(Jeremy Burkhart, SunPrairie Grain) "Agriculture is depressed a little compared to what we've seen in the past. So capital was tight but we were able to prove it was going to be a good project so we got the funding for it."

The elevator and rail facility should be ready for action in the spring of 2018. With you Eye on Agriculture, Jim Olson, KX News.

The Lansford location will be the third unit train loading facility for SunPrairie Grain.

The other two are in Bowbells and Minot.

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