Type: Grain Elevator

Location: Osbernville, IL

Key personnel:

Tim Pistorius, owner

Pete Pistorius, owner

Seth Bramel, general manager

The old saying, “if you build it, they will come,” applies to the growth of Osbernville Grain Company in Osbernville, IL. When local farmer Tim Pistorius and his son, Pete, purchased the 600,000-bushel concrete and steel elevator in 2008, they set out to grow its capacity for their own farming operation and other local farmers.

Across two projects in the early 2010s, the Pistoriuses started the process by adding 200,000-bushel and 400,000-bushel steel tanks, upping the site’s storage capacity to 1.2 million bushels.

What they found was that as they added storage more local farmers started delivering their grain to the elevator.

“As we built, our business grew which then meant we had to add more storage,” Tim Pistorius explains.

By 2018, the elevator’s 1970s-era grain-handling equipment wasn’t keeping up with its customers’ demand for faster receiving and handling capacities

To meet this demand, the father and son co-owners decided to buy a 2-acre piece of land adjacent to the east side of the property and build a standalone, greenfield elevator.

Construction of the truck-receiving and storage facility started in 2019 and was split into three phases.

To erect the storage tanks and install the material handling equipment, the Pistoriuses hired A&J Construction, Inc., Ashland, IL.

Phase 1

The first phase of the project started in the spring of 2019. A&J erected a 90-foot-diameter Chief Agri steel tank which is 96 feet to the eave and 121 feet to the peak. The 600,000-bushel tank has outside stiffeners and four 30-hp Chief aeration fans providing 1/10 cfm per bushel for corn.

Adjacent to the tank is a 300-bushel mechanical receiving pit, the site’s second. It feeds a 20,000-bph Chief Agri bucket elevator that is installed in a 12-foot-x-12-foot-x-150-foot Chief Agri support tower.

The leg feeds grain to the new tank via a 20,000-bph Chief Agri drag conveyor. One of the main goals of the Phase 1 project was to increase the facility’s truck receiving capability.

According to General Manager Seth Bramel, the elevator was using a single truck scale for weighing trucks. “We needed a second scale to speed up the flow of grain through the elevator.”

To speed up the truck flow, a Cardinal Scale Mfg. 70-foot-x-11-foot pitless outbound truck scale was installed next to the new tank. A Vertical Software (VSI) ScaleTrac ticketing software system was installed to streamline the weighing of inbound and outbound trucks.

The system, Bramel says, generates scale tickets with speed and secured accuracy. The ticket’s info then seamlessly flows into the elevator’s Vertical Software GrainTrac grain accounting software system.

A VSI remote ticket printer was installed next to the outbound scale to print scale tickets for drivers while they are still in their truck.

Bramel, who has been with the company for 10 years, says the system has reduced the time to weigh in, dump grain, and weigh out to three to four minutes.

Phase 2

In Phase 2 in 2021, a 60-foot Chief Agri wet tank was erected. This 215,000-bushel tank is 84 feet to the eave and 101 feet to the peak. It has two 30-hp Chief Agri aeration fans providing 1/16 cfm per bushel for corn.

A second 20,000-bph Chief Agri bucket elevator was installed inside the support tower.

A new GSI 6,000-bph propane-fired grain dryer was added to supplement the facility’s existing 3,000-bph dryer.

Bramel says the new dryer dried over 1 million bushels of wet grain in the 2023 harvest.

Phase 3

In 2023, Phase 3 was completed with the erection of a 105-foot-diameter Chief Agri steel tank. The 775,000-bushel tank is 96 feet to the eave and 125 feet to the peak. It has four 40-hp Chief aeration fans providing 1/10 cfm per bushel for corn.

The 105 foot and 90 foot tanks have a Tri-States Grain Conditioning grain temperature system – 24 cables in the larger tank and 16 cables in the smaller.

For reclaim, all three tanks empty onto a 20,000-bph Chief Agri drag conveyor back to the bucket elevator. Each tank also has a Sudenga 12,000-bph bin sweep and a single sidewall spout for loading trucks.

With the three phases completed by the 2023 fall harvest, Osbernville Grain had added 1.6 million bushels of storage and 20,000 bph of grain handling capacity. The site now has close to 3 million bushels of storage.

According to Bramel, the elevator handles between 6 to 7 million bushels of grain a year – two-thirds corn and one-third soybeans. “We are now starting to take in some wheat,” he says.

Osbenville ships its grain to ADM’s processing plant in Decatur, IL, Bartlett’s train-loading facility in Jacksonville, IL, and a river terminal along the Mississippi near St. Louis, MO.

The added storage, Tim Pistorius says, has allowed the company to hold grain longer as it looks for merchandising opportunities.

In total, the Pistoriuses have been happy with the projects and are looking forward to more expansion in the future. “As we build, we get more customers, which means we’ll need to add more storage in the future.”

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