Great Bend Coop starts construction on extra grain storage

PAWNEE ROCK, Kan. (KSNW) — This year, central Kansas saw a large wheat harvest. However, the demand for the grain has been lower than usual. This has caused some storage problems for Great Bend Coop.

“So, we were required to stuff it into places, in the elevators, keep it here locally, so that limited the amount of space we had available for the fall harvest,” said Frank Riedl, Great Bend Coop general manager.

Barton County is working with the coop to deal with the storage problem.

Today, the commission approved a zoning change request, allowing the facility to build new storage bunks at Pawnee Rock.

“We have a great commission, the commissioners here, they understood our plight,” said Riedl.

The extra storage helps not only the coop but the farmers.

“If we don’t have the space for it, then their machines are sitting,” Riedl said. “When the weather is right, they need to be outside on the combines cutting.”

The coop plans to build two grain bunks.

Construction has already started at the Pawnee Rock site. Riedl told KSN’s Amanda Aguilar that one bunk should be finished by this weekend. The last one should be done the following week.

According to Riedl, the two new grain bunks have caused some concern amongst Pawnee Rock residents.

“We’re talking about putting a million-one storage up, so there’s going to be 1,100 trucks driving down through town,” Riedl said.

The coop plans to detour and direct the trucks on where to go to alleviate  traffic.

Riedl said the coop doesn’t want to cause any inconvenience for residents. They just want a better way to store their grain.

The coop plans to use the storage bunks only when there’s a large amount of grain, normally crops will still be stored at the local coops.