Utilizing Automation to Tackle Grower Pain Points


I’m excited to announce that construction is underway on a new 750,000-bushel grain bin at our Brownton location. This investment will have a major impact on our operations and efficiency when storing soybeans harvested this fall.

In the past, we’ve had to pile beans on the ground when our storage capacity was maxed out. With this new bin, the plan would be to no longer pile beans on the ground. This reduces risk and provides better quality control for both our member-owners and for the cooperative. We will have the groundwork, concrete, and underground electrical completed by mid-November. The entire project has an expected completion date of July 2024.

Choosing to build the bin in Brownton was a strategic decision. Relative to our trade territory, Brownton is centrally located. This location will act as a hub, and will allow us to efficiently receive and move beans to markets or processing. I know some growers further south may wish it was closer, but this spot optimizes logistics and creates efficiencies across our trade territory.

We continue to invest in automation upgrades, too. Our new driver card system in Klossner is a prime example, allowing trucks to pull on the scale, scan a card to provide info, get a ticket, and be on their way without communication with the scale operator. This system is the same system used at our Brownton location. This simple change saves time and labor for both growers and UFC employees. We plan to bring a similar setup to Winthrop before the next harvest.

Upgrading processes to leverage technology is important for improving efficiency across all our locations. We regularly evaluate pain points that our growers experience and look for ways automation can streamline operations and address those pain points. Whether it’s a new grain bin or communication-free weighing process, these investments benefit our owners by getting them in and out of our facilities faster.

I’m proud of the progress we continue to make behind the scenes to expand storage capacity and upgrade facilities. It takes time and strategic planning to properly build infrastructure that will serve member-owners’ needs for generations to come. While the changes aren’t always visible, know that we are continually working to improve our cooperative’s operations. I’m excited to see the new bin take shape and look forward to future announcements as we find new ways to add value to your farming operation.

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