Owensboro Grain’s new 1-million bushel storage tank

A worker walks along the top of Owensboro Grain’s new 1-million bushel storage tank Oct. 21. The tank adds to the company’s expansion allowing for an increase in capacity and productivity.

Through Owensboro Grain’s ongoing expansion, it has added another 1-million bushel storage tank that will give it more soybean-holding capacity.

John Wright, executive vice president, said the tank’s completion was just in time for the company and the farmers who do business with them.

“We completed the tank luckily right here before harvest,” Wright said. “We have started unloading soybeans and putting soybeans in that brand new tank.”

The storage bin adds to the major expansion project the 114-year-old company finished two years ago along Leitchfield Road, which connects to Owensboro Grain’s older main operation on East Second Street.

In that initial expansion, which has been operational since September 2018, the company added eight tempering-day tanks, three wet tanks, a 1-million bushel storage tank, a grain dryer and a grain elevator. The control room is also state-of-the-art with automation and 3-D imaging of the tanks that appear on computer screens.

Wright said the investment has been about increasing capacity and productivity.

“Having this new tank and this new high-efficient unloading system allows us to unload trucks quicker and more bushels per day,” Wright said. “Before this, we weren’t able to reach out to larger market regions and encourage trucks to come to Owensboro where we had a high-efficient and high-capacity elevator system to take those new trucks. Now we do.”

For local farmers, Owensboro Grain’s expansion has benefitted them as well.

Jason Strobe, a Stanley row crop farmer, said his father started selling to Owensboro Grain about 35 years ago.

And in that time, Strobe said Owensboro Grain has built “a world-class facility.”

“Just seeing their constant improvement in their facilities gives us access to a speedy harvest and a good market for our product,” Strobe said. …They’ve really helped us out in getting our trucks emptied and back to the fields in a timely manner.”

Strobe’s farm usually produces from 150,000 to 200,000 bushels of soybeans in a season.

He added that he’s expecting a record year for bushels with his soybeans, which bodes well for his farm and Owensboro Grain.

“I think it’s one of our better years on soybeans,” Strobe said. “We had plenty of rain; it seems like everyone got planted in a timely fashion. …I think overall Daviess County will probably set a record as far as soybean yields.”

The latest storage bin represents Owensboro Grain’s larger picture of diversifying its soybean-based products.

And with what Owensboro Grain purchases from farmers like Strobe, products such as glycerin, biodiesel and liquid and hydrogenated soybean oils are made at the company’s Ewing Road refinery.

Wright said Owensboro Grain’s newest soybean product is wax. The plant can produce approximately 150 million pounds of wax a year, using 10 million bushels of soybeans.

“We’ve been blessed to produce an array of soybean products,” Wright said. “But if you don’t have a good elevator system to feed soybeans to the plant, then you’re not going to be in a good position to produce those other products downstream.”

Don Wilkins, dwilkins@messenger-inquirer.com, 270-691-7299

Don Wilkins, dwilkins@messenger-inquirer.com, 270-691-7299

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