By Jennifer Kotila
HOWARD LAKE, MN For the last five years, Munson Lakes Nutrition has seen steady growth in the tons of feed it produces and the amount of corn being produced by its suppliers, according to grain manager Mark Dahlman.
In order to better accommodate both its feed and grain customers, the company is constructing a 135,000 bushel corn bin at the Howard Lake mill.
Currently, the storage capacity at the mill is only 120,000 bushels, but it uses 125,000 bushels per month for production, according to general manager John Zander.
“We have been stretching the limits more day-to-day than we are comfortable with, always being at capacity or full, or at or near empty,” Zander said.
The new bin will give the mill a storage capacity of more than 250,000 bushels, or about two months worth of corn, Zander said.
“This will allow us to secure enough corn to meet the needs of our customers,” Zander added.
“We will also be better equipped to adapt to our producers' delivery preferences and their schedules, as opposed to them having to work around our schedule,” Dahlman said.
The additional storage also opens up the opportunity for Munson Lakes Nutrition to offer additional producer contracts in areas such as futures contracts, fixed-base contracts, and formal price-later contracts, as well as current spot and forward-delivery contracts, Dahlman added.
Not only will the additional storage space allow the mill to better serve its current grain and feed customers, it will positively affect the ability to add new customers in the future.
“We are looking forward to adding new feed and grain customers,” Dahlman said.
“As with any expansion, we are excited to have it completed,” Zander said.
The grain bin should be ready for use by about mid-April, he added.