Generations and Storage Bins Come in Multiples at Larson Farms

Generations and Storage Bins Come in Multiples at Larson Farms

Chet Larson represents the fifth generation at Larson Farms. Located in West Central Minnesota, Larson Farms is a multi-generational business that has been in operation since 1918. Chet started driving equipment and working on the farm when he was 10 years old and started farming some of his own ground when he was 17. He is working into more ownership of the farm with his grandfather Merlyn, his father Doug, and his uncle Randy.

Like many farms, the Larson’s grain storage bin system has grown with the expansion of their farming operation. “We started out with many smaller bins acquired from retired neighbors, landlords, and family members,” explained Chet. “As we expanded, we eventually needed a faster, more efficient bin site that was easier to use. So in 2004, that’s when we added two Brock 70,000 bushel bins, a Brock 24,000 bushel wet holding bin, and a grain leg system.”

Chet Larson (left) with his father Doug. Chet is the next generation in a long line at Larson Farms in West Central Minnesota.

Continuing to expand with Brock.

Last summer, Larson Farms was recovering from a series of storms and tornadoes and had lost their main wet holding bin to wind damage. They had already planned to add even more storage capacity, so they built a Brock 200,000 bushel bin, installed two Brock GrainDrive™ T1000 Tube Conveyors, and upgraded their damaged wet holding bin.

“We gained acres and started more custom farming, so we needed more storage,” said Chet. “We went with Brock because we like matching equipment. Obviously we have a Brock bin site and we have great dealer support for Brock here.

“With supply issues and everything being so delayed and not showing up, we called our Brock dealer, Pro-Steel Builders out of Hancock, Minnesota, and we were very pleased with the product availability.”

“Pro-Steel’s advice and help is huge. They came out with computer sketches and showed us options for future expansion. The dealer helped with forward thinking on the layout. You may think you’ll never expand or need more capacity, but it’s good to have a plan so you can just keep adding conveyors and adding bins down a line. It’s very, very nice.”

A favorite bin feature.

Larson Farms reclaims grain using a Brock 1500 Series Power Sweep with an auger installed under the bin floor and Brock horizontal drag conveyor to move grain back to the grain leg.

“I would say one of my favorite things about our new Brock bin is we put a side draw discharge on the second ring up from the bottom,” said Chet. “We have that gravity flow into our Brock horizontal drag conveyor and it reclaims back to the grain leg, which then goes into the overhead bin so we can load semis out easily. I feel you get a much better sample. You don’t get the concentrated fines and foreign matter coming out of the center of the bin. It kind of blends as it’s coming down. Plus, since we don’t have to run the center auger, less power is used, and there’s less wear and tear. I don’t know if it was an option years ago, but I wish we had that on more bins.”

A side discharge on the Larson’s new bin helps them reclaim grain easily.

Filling bins efficiently and quietly.

GrainDrive T1000 Tube Conveyors can be used for different jobs in a grain system, but at Larson Farms they are used for filling bins. One tube conveyor is inclined to the top of their 185,000 bushel bin where it can either dump or they can close a slide gate and transfer the grain to a second tube conveyor that spans 75 feet to their 200,000 bushel bin.

Brock GrainDrive T1000 Tube Conveyors help fill multiple bins at Larson Farms.

“They can span a long distance without needing center support,” explained Chet. “You can’t do augers when you’re spanning 70 or 80 feet. Tube conveyors are also less costly than a catwalk and conveyor system. They get the job done for less money and they move the grain while maintaining quality.

“I highly recommend the GrainDrive Tube Conveyor. They’re lower maintenance than an auger, deliver better grain quality, and are quiet. The nice thing about either drag conveyors or tube conveyors is they run quiet, so you don’t have a lot of banging and loud noises. You can truly have a conversation around them without screaming your head off.”

Recommendations for other farmers.

Chet offered some advice for farmers thinking of building or expanding a grain system. “We’ve had great, great luck with our new Brock systems, so we’re very satisfied. If I was giving advice to someone building a new system, I would say plan for the future and find a dealer that will help you make that plan. I wouldn’t necessarily say build bigger, but just more laid out with a plan for when the bigger happens.”