Minneapolis-based Cargill plans to invest about $30 million to increase unloading speeds, storage and shipping capacity and add railroad service at its grain Cargill Holdredge grain elevatorelevator southwest of Holdrege, Neb.

“South Central Nebraska is a highly productive area for grains,” says Phil Harders, leader of Cargill AgHorizons U.S.’s Cornhusker Farm Service Group (FSG). “In addition to the local markets we have been serving by truck, the added rail service will expand the markets for farmer customers to the Pacific Northwest and the U.S. Southwest.”

The capital investment project at Holdrege is expected to be completed by the harvest of 2014. To date, Holdrege has shipped grain out by truck. The project will add rail service along the BNSF Railroad, allowing Cargill to load 120-car shuttle trains. “Unit trains are an efficient way to move large volumes of grain,” says Tim Coppage, Cornhusker FSG merchandising leader.

“By giving us access to additional markets like the Pacific Northwest and the U.S. Southwest, we can better meet the demands of our farmer customers for broader markets.”

The project will increase storage capacity by 3.5 million bushels, bringing the total to 5 million. Cargill will add three truck receiving pits with a combined 80,000-bushel-per-hour truck receiving capacity. The facility will also have 70,000-bushel-per-hour rail shipping capacity.