MASON CITY, Iowa - The south side of town has been flourishing, with the construction of Bushel Boy's new facility as well as Waste Management's new regional facility on what was once farmland. Now, a project of monumental size is underway at Golden Grain Energy.
Construction on what will be the world's largest grain bin upon completion began in September. The bin will be able to hold over 2.2 million bushels of corn, will be about 165 ft. in diameter, and will stand 155 ft. tall over the North Iowa landscape. To put it in perspective, it would take roughly 2,200 trucks to fill the inside of the bin, and a Boeing 767 could fit inside (if stood on end) and still have room. The bin would complement existing bins on site to combine for about 30 days of storage.
With the pandemic impacting travel and the fuel industry, including ethanol, Golden Grain CEO Chad Kuhlers believes the timing for the project is perfect, as demand is beginning to pick up.
"What we have to do is continue to be as efficient as possible. We want to be able to receive the corn as efficiently as possible, store it when it makes sense for us to store it, and take advantage of opportunities when the producer wants to sell the corn to us so we can be the receiving location of choice."
In addition, Kuhlers says the bin will help the processing facility stay open during bad weather and holidays, and points to this past holiday season.
"In 2020, Christmas was on a Friday, New Year's was on a Friday. That meant we still had to receive all the corn to keep operational. otherwise, we would've been out of corn. If we didn't receive corn the week in between Christmas and New Year's, all you're doing is praying that you don't have a snowstorm, so that you can continue to get corn in in order to keep the facility running."
Despite the pandemic and the recent cold weather we experienced, Kuhlers says construction has been moving along smoothly. He expects the bin to be fully operational by the start of June.