Types of Grain Elevators
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Subterminal elevators usually have a capacity of loading unit trains of 54 to 75 cars for direct shipment to port elevators and the capability of blending and cleaning grain, reducing the bulk of the grain by as much as one tenth. Grain is then rapidly moved by rail to the final destination or a terminal. Subterminals are used year round as farmers sell stored grain in the volatile grain market. Prices at subterminal elevators are slightly higher than at the country elevators and therefore advantageous to nearby farmers bringing grain directly by truck instead of taking it to a closer country elevator.
Terminal elevators have always been the largest of the grain storage complexes. Central Elevator 4 at Buffalo, NY, built in 1915 as a major shipping point on Lake Erie for grain sold in Europe, held 4.5 million bushels of grain. Today, terminal grain elevators may hold 20 million bushels or more. Terminals are located in market centers with access to railroads and shipping facilities, which may include industrial users. They bring together major buyers and sellers and have the capacity to dry the grain, segregate grains of different qualities and blend grains to meet the buyers needs for export or production of flour.
Read more: Learn about grain elevator construction in How Grain Elevators Work.
This excerpt has been reprinted with permission from The American Grain Elevator, published by Grain Elevator Press, 2012.
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