Major expansion underway at Heartland Co-op

Dirt work is underway on a $6.5 million project at Heartland Cooperative in Grundy Center that will eventually increase the facility’s storage capacity to 2.3 million bushels and expedite the receiving and drying processes. (Robert Maharry/The Grundy Register photo) 

Heartland Cooperative Grain Vice President Todd Phillips doesn’t use the phrase “Keeping Up with the Joneses” to describe his employer’s construction of four new 78-foot in diameter grain bins in Grundy Center: in his view, it’s simply a boon for local farmers and the community.


“I can’t speak to that. What I can speak to is our commitment to Grundy County and ultimately the Tri-County area. We’ve been pioneers in growing our company,” he said in response to a question about similar projects at Mid-Iowa Cooperative north of Grundy Center and Snittjer Grain in Wellsburg. “We do our own thing, and Grundy County has always been part of our plans.”


When it’s all said and done, the new bins will hold a grand total of 1.7 million bushels (pushing the company’s total Grundy Center storage capacity to 2.3 million bushels), and Heartland is expected to invest around $6.5 million toward the remodel of the facility on the north edge of town. The project also includes a new dryer and two new receiving pits that will increase the capacity by 30,000 bushels per hour.


“We’re absolutely dedicated to this area, and we have a strong producer and customer base there already,” Phillips said. “They want more speed and space so that they can get back to the field. So it’s a good fit for us, and we’re excited about it.”


A host of factors have contributed to the dramatic surge in the need for grain storage: as most everyone with at least a cursory knowledge of the industry knows, commodity prices are down even as production and yields exponentially increase. As a result, more farmers are opting for storage in hopes of a market rebound, and seed corn production in Grundy County—generally known as a hub for the practice—has also decreased. 


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