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Master of Agribusiness

Comparative Grain Storage Analysis

Chris Wagner, Ulysses, Kans., defended his thesis, “Comparative Grain Storage Analysis,” on February 20, 2013. Wagner is the Ulysses Area Manager for Garden City Co-op. He graduated from Kansas State University in May with a Master of Agribusiness (MAB) degree. 

While grain production has increased over the years, many grain elevators were built in the 1950s and that is putting a strain on storage and handling facilities.  Many cooperatives are exploring replacing or updating existing grain elevators to meet the future demands of producers.

“There are a number of reasons cooperatives may need to update their grain storage assets. The most common reasons are existing grain storage is aging and grain production is increasing the need for more storage space,” Wagner said. “Since cooperatives serve member owners, decisions must be made to the financial benefit of those members.”

Wagner conducted a comparative analysis of grain storage options that cooperatives could use in making a decision whether to update or replace aging grain storage. He considered three options for new grain storage (concrete, steel and bunker storage) and extending the life of older elevators by installing gunite bin liners.

Brian Briggeman, Associate Professor of Agricultural Economics and Wagner’s thesis advisor, said, “Chris used his cooperative’s data to create a model that is useful when considering future grain elevator infrastructure investments.”