Case Study
Geometrica Putting Roof Overhead, Turning Temporary Storage Into Permanent

Geometrica • 832-220-1200http:/

New 2.6 million-bushel Agridome at West Central Ag Services in Beltrami, MI.

West Central Ag Services Employs Affordable Storage Alternative in Snowy Michigan

With an average annual snowfall of 43 inches – in some years starting before fall harvest is completed – Beltrami, MN can be a challenging place to maintain grain quality in a temporary ground pile.

Bryan Mueller, grain manager at the West Central Ag Services elevator in Beltrami (218-926-5522), knows all about managing a 2.6-million-bushel temporary storage pile through challenging fall, winter, and spring weather.

That pile stands 350 feet in diameter on an asphalt base with a Warrior Mfg. center fill tower topped by four 50-hp AGI Airlanco centrifugal fans that keep the tarp in place, sometimes in blizzard conditions all too frequently in northwest Minnesota’s Red River Valley.

“I was looking into building a flat storage building as a replacement, but those can be expensive,” Mueller says. “That’s when I ran across Geometrica, Inc., which offered a less expensive alternative while retaining the infrastructure we already had in place.”

Steel Dome Coverings Use Existing Infrastructure

Francisco “Pancho” Castano, CEO of Geometrica, Cypress, TX (832-220-1200), says this is the first project his firm has completed for an agricultural customer.

“We mainly produce our domes for the mining, power plant, and cement industries,” he says.

Geometrica manufactures dome coverings for existing infrastructure made from a tubular galvanized-steel frame and corrugated steel coverings, with components manufactured at its plant in Monterrey, Mexico. For agricultural customers, the company is calling its product the AgridomeTM.

“We’ve been building domes like these for more than 25 years, and the core strengths of our business – world-class quality and long-span technology – are now translating into improved profit potential and efficiency for ag operations,” says Castano.

Among the Agridome’s benefits, Castano cites five:

  • Cost per bushel. The Agridome features the strength and longevity of more traditional permanent storage options at lower upfront and operational costs.
  • Retrofittable construction. Erecting an Agridome doesn’t mean building away from existing bunkers, center tower, or surrounding structures, but building around them.
  • Weatherproof design. For a U.S. corn-growing region that’s no stranger to inclement weather, the Agridome can be designed for region-specific conditions in mind, from northern snows to high-speed prairie winds.
  • User-friendliness. No more fighting with stubborn tarps or hitting columns with a front-end loader. Agridome’s freespan design makes moving grain a cinch and includes built-in translucent panels to provide daylight inside.
  • Holding capacity. Large traditional tanks hold up to around 1.5 million bushels, the Beltrami Agridome holds up to 2.6 million bushels, and the design can be customized to hold up to 10 million.

Beltrami dome stores corn, hard spring wheat

To construct the Agridome at its ground pile in Beltrami, West Central selected Walt Johnson Construction and Crane Service Inc., Alexandria, MN (320-763-9005), as general contractor.

“They’ve done all of our expansions over the last 10 years,” says West Central’s Mueller.

In addition, VAA, LLC, Plymouth, MN (763-559-9100), completed the structural engineering for the Agridome foundation and reclaim tunnel and general arrangement/equipment layout drawings for the project.

Groundwork for the Agridome began on June 15, and actual construction began Sept. 7. Because of the steep slopes involved, the construction crew made extensive use of personal protective equipment, especially fall protection.

The project was completed without injuries, and West Central began filling the dome prior to Dec. 1.

“The dome is primarily meant for corn, but for now, we’re using it to store hard red spring wheat,” Mueller says.

The Agridome sits atop a 10-foot-tall concrete sidewall. It measures 350 feet in diameter and is 90 feet tall at the peak. A set of 20 Rolfes@Boone axial fans around the base of the dome provide aeration through perforated polyethylene tubing. The dome also includes a 22-cable AGI CMC grain temperature monitoring system.

The rest of the storage system remains unchanged from the existing ground pile. These include an asphalt base and a 700-foot GSI InterSystems 30,000-bph overhead enclosed belt conveyor in a Warrior box bridge that carries grain from the main elevator to the Warrior center fill tower.

The dome will be emptied by front-end loaders pushing grain through five sumps into a below-ground Brock 30,000-bph enclosed belt conveyor. That feeds a 30,000-bph GSI inclined drag conveyor that brings the grain up out of the below-ground tunnel. The inclined conveyor feeds a GSI 30,000-bph bucket elevator. which empties into an AGI Hi Roller 30,000-bph enclosed belt conveyor that reclaims back to the elevator.

Ed Zdrojewski, editor

From the January/February 2021 GRAIN JOURNAL


  • West Central Ag Services Beltrami Geomtrica Agridome completion
  • West Central Ag Services Beltrami Geometrica Agridome Walt Johnson Construction
  • West Central Ag Services Beltami Geometrica Agridome

About Geometrica

Cypress, TX

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Grain Journal January February 2021

View this case study and more in the Grain Journal January February 2021 magazine.