This fall, farmers pulling their rigs into the grain facility in Bruno won’t be waiting as long as they did during the harvest of 2016.
Farmers Union Coop Association of Cedar Bluffs, which purchased the facility from the Bruno Co-op Grain Association last year, has installed grain handling equipment that will dramatically speed up the unloading and loading of grain. Central Ag Builders of Schuyler is expected to wrap up construction at the site next week.
Coop manager Randall Schwartz said before the grain handling equipment was added, the facility could unload two semis in an hour.
“We should be able to unload 12 in an hour this harvest,” Schwartz said.
Area residents might remember that the site had an old wooden elevator that was demolished in 2014. A new 45,000 bushel grain bin also was added to the site, bringing the total storage capacity to 400,000 bushels.
A year ago, the Cedar Bluffs Coop purchased the assets of Bruno Farmers Cooperative, and more changes followed. Six grain bins, three other grain storage buildings and another old wooden elevator were razed. Workers are wrapping up the construction of a leg that will handle 7,500 bushels per hour, a pit and two overhead bins, and piping to existing bins on the site.
The site also will have a belt conveyor system on top of an another storage building. The low profile unloading system will unload 7,000 bushels per hour.
Schwartz described the business at the site as average for the first year, and he expects it to triple for 2017-18.
The company’s annual sales are $30 million. There are 400 owner-members in the cooperative. The company provides grain handling, agronomy, feed and fuel for its customers. In addition to Bruno, the cooperative has sites in Cedar Bluffs, Prague and Wahoo.