[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]$400,000 in upgrades at Lewis-Clark Terminal shortens turnaround time for wheat deliveries
By ELAINE WILLIAMS of the Tribune
Wheat truck drivers won’t have to wait as long to empty at Lewis-Clark Terminal this harvest season.
The North Lewiston agricultural cooperative is adding a fourth loading pit and expanding storage, said Manager Arvid Lyons.
The upgrades are part of a $400,000 project underway at the site owned by CHS Primeland in Lewiston, Pacific Northwest Farmers Cooperative in Genesee and the Uniontown Cooperative Association.
The new pit will handle 17 to 18 trucks per hour, compared with the 13 per hour at the others. “Those five extra trucks are a big deal,” Lyons said.
Today’s combines harvest crops more quickly, making quick turnaround times more important for farmers, Lyons said. “Producers’ patience for waiting down here has become less and less.”
The new space is in a grain pile that will be able to hold 1.4 million bushels of wheat. That’s 300,000 more bushels than before the overhaul, which will bring the total capacity of Lewis Clark Terminal to 8.15 million bushels.
Increasing capacity in the Lewiston-Clarkston Valley is a priority, Lyons said. The community doesn’t have enough storage during harvest unless 10 bulk grain barges a month are taking grain to Portland in July and August.
That challenge is being compounded as old elevators are taken off-line in rural areas because it’s too expensive to maintain them and keep them in compliance with regulations, Lyons said.
In addition to more room and faster service, other changes are being made to help the pile function better. The gravel and asphalt underneath the pile are being rebuilt so the ground surface is higher in the middle of the pile than it is at the edges. This means any moisture that gets in will not get trapped – a situation that can make wheat spoil, Lyons said.
A conveyor belt is being installed to place a high-velocity spout 60 feet off the ground that used to be the way wheat went into the pile. The belt climbs to the same height and has cleats to prevent the wheat from rolling off. It puts the grain into a 40-inch-diameter pipe that goes all the way to the ground and has hatches at regular intervals to release the wheat.
The design reduces dust, something that is particularly important to Pacific Northwest Farmers Cooperative, which has a garbanzo bean processing facility with low tolerance for contamination of any kind, Lyons said.
The contractor on the project, A & R Construction in Lewiston, is expected to be finished soon so the staff will have an opportunity to test it before the busy season arrives, Lyons said.
“These are updates to take care of our customers a little better.”
Williams may be contacted at [email protected] or (208) 848-2261.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]