CANADA – Canada’s Co-operative Régionale de Nipissing Sudbury is investing about US$1.28 million in upgrading the grain storage and handling capacity at its Temiskaming Agriculture Centre in Ontario.

This involves building a 160-foot grain tower, double its receiving capacity by installing the 10,000-bushel-per-hour elevator leg and additionally make other improvements that are expected to increase storage capacity to 170,000 bushels with four wet bins at 60,000 bushels and one dry bin at 110,000 bushels.

To keep the grains from getting mouldy, the four wet bins will be equipped with massive fans to keep cool air circulating through the product.

According to Northern Ontario Business, the investment is the biggest one-time spend on agriculture for the cooperative.

“This would be the biggest one-time spend on agriculture for Co-op Régionale,” said agriculture manager Brandon Tuinema.

“We’re the last frontier in Ontario that has significant arable land available for production.

“You have better crops being planted that are producing better yields, better genetics, and so we need more storage to facilitate those producers.”

The facility will handle oats, canola, soybeans, barley, and spring and winter wheat grown by farmers in the Temiskaming area.

The co-operative said the development solves the problem of lacking enough storage for wet grain before it can reach the dryer, experienced during harvest time.

Verner-based Co-operative Régionale has 4,000 members working in agriculture, hardware and grocery stores, fuel and energy depots across north-eastern Ontario in communities.

“Our members had spoken,” said Tuinema.

“They wanted faster unloading capabilities and needed more storage for grain so they could capture more market gains in the winter, instead of selling it all at harvest when supply and demand work against you.”

Besides the Thornloe facility, the co-op has agriculture sites in Verner, east of Sudbury, in the Algoma district at Echo Bay, east of Sault St. Marie, revealed the company.