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By Yelena Serrato /The Hesperian-Beacon—
SANDHILL—Grain elevators dot the landscape standing ready to receive the harvest before the grain is shipped to mills and refineries and ultimately made into various products that end up in many kitchens.
And that stop at the grain elevator, such as the ones located in Muncy and Sandhill, owned by Dennis Ross and his son, Paul, consists of many stages of quality control, weighing and other important aspects of the process.
According to the Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation, the journey begins when the grain combines harvest grain out of the field and transfer it to a grain cart or directly into a truck that can carry the crop to the grain elevator.
“The truck carrying the grain pulls into the local grain elevator and then stops on the scale at the elevator to be weighed,” the Foundation states on its website. “The operator takes a sample of the grain to test for the weight, moisture content and to check for any foreign materials present.”
The grain is then dumped from the truck to a work floor of the elevator.
“The work floor is an open, slatted floor where the grain dumps into pit and will then travel on a continuous belt that has buckets attached to scoop up the grain and then deposits it into silos, the Foundation says. “The empty truck will drive back to the scale to weigh the truck again.”
According to Sheri Fitzpatrick, Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation, grain elevators were created to hold crops being purchased or available for resale and to help with the problem of storing grain.
“The essential function of storage is to protect the grain from the elements and allow for it to be stored and tracked for quality and temperature,” she said. “The inside building houses a vertical storage with bins that allows for easy transport of the grain.”
Fitzpatrick said proper grain storage is of utmost importance.
“The process of getting the grain to and from the elevator is full of important steps,” she said. “None of which can be omitted.”