Several hundred area farmers turned out Tuesday night for an open house at Farmers Pride for a first-hand look at the company’s $7.5 million expansion in Neligh.
The upgraded facility on the east edge of town included three new bins, a covered scale and pit, a new probe, a wider entrance with three lanes of traffic and much more, including the hiring of additional office help to keep semis moving through quickly.
General Manager Dean Thernes said Farmers Pride is member owned and worked with producers for the design of the expansion to better serve their needs.
“It’s very exciting and a great turnout tonight,” he said. “We sat down with a farmer group, actually twice, and received their input and design as far as what they’ve seen at other receiving terminals that they liked or didn’t like, and we incorporated that into our process here in building this facility."
Farmers Pride now stores 2.2 million bushels of grain, but that will be increased by another 1.4 million bushels with the addition of the three bins.
The two larger bins, each holding 630,000 bushels, will be used for corn. A third wet grain bin will hold another 150,000 bushels. What was the largest bin previously holds about 400,000 bushels.
Thernes said the new bins will be operational very soon. A test run was planned for Wednesday with just a “couple of minor details” to be ironed out in the next few days.
The new dryer will dry 4,500 bushels per hour, and the new grain leg will move 20,000 bushels per hour. That, combined with having a covered scale, will keep semis moving no matter the conditions.
The expansion also includes moving the gate and widening the driveway to allow for three lanes of traffic.
In January, Farmers Pride approved $22 million in facility upgrades to Neligh, Osmond and Newman Grove locations with $7.5 million dedicated to the Neligh location.
“It’s a very large investment,” Thernes said. “Again, it’s farmer owned and farmer supported. They’re the ones that made this happen. We appreciate their support. Without them, obviously, this would not have been possible."