Gales Design & Consulting Featured Project

Pro Cooperative Terril Expansion

Latest Update: Phase One of the Terril expansion project, including the new seed and chemical warehouse, UAN tank, & load-out bays, has been completed in time for the spring planting season. 

About Gales Design & Consulting

Pro Cooperative Terril Expansion Unveiled

In 2023, Pro Cooperative unveiled plans for a significant expansion of its Terril Location, aiming to improve its operational capacity. The expansion included a new seed and chemical warehouse, a one-and-a-half million-gallon liquid Urea Ammonium Nitrate (UAN) tank, two load-out bays, a grain scale & probe, and additional office space. Phase one of the project was slated to be completed in time for the spring planting of 2024. To bring this ambitious vision to life, Pro Cooperative immediately brought on Gales Design & Consulting, known especially for their expertise in agricultural construction design and management, to oversee the project.

Courtesy of Gracie Jackson / Pro Cooperative

Project’s Highlights:

  • A new probe and scale system.
  • An impressive 88 x 325 Agronomy complex, setting new standards in facility design.
  • A 88 x 60 Attached Shop Building, catering to diverse operational needs.
  • A colossal 1.5M gallon UAN Tank.
  • Two liquid fertilizer tanks and a new water tank, enhancing operational flexibility.
  • Two liquid load-out/receiving bays, including a dedicated after-hours bay for round-the-clock service.
  • Fourteen relocated chem tanks and revamped process plumbing, ensuring efficiency in chemical handling.
  • Five re-located Seed tanks, part of a state-of-the-art seed treating system.

Jim Gales, Co-Owner of Gales Design & Consulting noted about the project,

“We love when an owner brings us on right at the beginning of a project like this. Being brought in right out of the gate allows us to manage every detail of the project to benefit our clients, saving them time, money, and lots of unnecessary hassle. We help our clients clearly define their project scope by really understanding the needs their project will address. Then we develop a plan that will get the project built on time and within budget.”

Ambitious Project Goals & Project Challenges

Throughout the planning process, Pro Cooperative’s vision became clearer than ever. Their aim? To redefine their customer’s experience within the facility by streamlining operations, boosting truck load-out capacities, expanding warehouse spaces, and significantly enhancing their liquid fertilizer options. Picture what this expansion means for local farmers: a facility where liquid fertilizer batches are mixed in minutes, bulk seed quantities are readily available, and a 24-hour bay ensures convenience for loading products at any time. It’s a game-changer for the farming community in Terril and the surrounding area. 

Courtesy of Gracie Jackson / Pro Cooperative

However, the planning process also revealed the project’s most significant challenge: not its size or scope, as one might assume, but rather the compressed timeline, much of which would take place throughout the winter months. The objective of finishing phase one by the spring 2024 planting season imposed an extremely tight schedule, with the potential for bad weather delays. Furthermore, supply chain disruptions that began during the COVID-19 pandemic and continue to affect construction today would pose difficulties in swiftly acquiring specialized parts and materials.

Josh Mulder, Owner of Mulder Engineering, responsible for electrical and automation engineering throughout the project, commented, “During our work on this project, we encountered significant lead times for materials. This required us to think creatively about materials and specifications to align with the client’s project timeline. We successfully developed custom solutions that not only met but surpassed the initial requirements. For instance, we customized a panel board for the electrical system by collaborating with a specialized panel shop. The resulting product maintained UL listing and adhered to all relevant standards while offering a completely tailored solution.”

The Impact Of Hiring The Right Professionals For A Project

Professionals like Josh Mulder were key throughout phase one of the project, not only in finding solutions for materials but in the overall design of the project. When providing owner’s representation and project management Gales Design & Consulting offers a comprehensive suite of services to their clients, including managing the bidding process and aiding in the selection of professionals and contractors for the project. While this step is crucial for any construction endeavor, it gained heightened significance during the Terril Expansion due to the demanding timeline. Jim Gales emphasized, “We take a holistic approach to selecting professionals and contractors, understanding that the right expertise at each stage is pivotal for project success. For the Terril project, it was paramount to engage individuals who are solution-focused and dedicated to meeting deadlines despite obstacles, ensuring the project’s timely completion.” 

Key Professionals, Contractors, & Vendors

Gales Design & Consulting Preferred Professional Spotlight: Steve Swift, of Steve Swift Consulting

Steve Swift is a clear example of the significant positive impact that the right skilled professionals can have on a project. As the project’s Process & Automation Consultant, Steve played a pivotal role in shaping the technical specifications for one of its most noteworthy advancements: the integration of advanced liquid automation capabilities throughout the entire facility. This encompassed not only the supervision of the installation of new equipment but also the automation of essential components like valves, pumps, and mixing equipment crucial for dispensing and blending chemicals or liquid fertilizer products. These components were seamlessly integrated with a custom software program created by Kahler Automation.

Courtesy of Gracie Jackson / Pro Cooperative, Interior, Seed Storage & Treatment Space

Courtesy of Gracie Jackson / Pro Cooperative, A semi in the 24 hour bay, hot loading specially mixed treatments.

Custom Mixing / Automation Equipment

The implementation of this new system will bring about remarkable benefits. Farmers can now conveniently bring soil samples directly from their fields to the Terril facility. Within minutes, a custom blend of chemicals and fertilizers tailored to the specific requirements of each field is formulated—a process likened to a “prescription” for the soil. This innovative approach replaces labor-intensive manual calculations and blending methods, resulting in substantial time and resource savings for both the facility and the farmers.

Moreover, the new system facilitates the efficient loading of resulting blends into large-capacity storage containers, easily transportable by semi-trucks. This additional feature further alleviates the workload on farmers when treating their fields, making the entire process more streamlined and effective.

Steve Swift’s expertise and dedication as the project’s Process & Automation Consultant have undeniably propelled the Terril Expansion Project to new heights. His instrumental role in designing and implementing the advanced liquid automation capabilities has not only modernized operations at the facility but has also brought significant benefits to the farmers it serves. Through his meticulous attention to detail and collaborative approach, Steve showcases the transformative power of bringing the right people on board for complex projects.

Overcoming Challenges To Meet Deadlines

The effectiveness of the Gales Design philosophy as a whole is evident, as the construction of phase one progressed smoothly, even during the winter months. “Careful planning, contractor flexibility in weather adaptation, and clear communication among professionals have contributed significantly to the success of the Terril Expansion construction,” noted Tim Hale, the Project Manager at Gales Design & Consulting overseeing phase one. Hale went on to say, “The contractors and professionals really worked well together and demonstrated a high level of dedication to get this completed on time.”

Phase one of the project, comprising the expansion of the seed and chemical warehouse and the installation of the one-and-a-half million-gallon liquid Urea Ammonium Nitrate (UAN) tank, was completed on schedule, in time for the spring planting season. As the project progresses into phase two, the entire project team is enthusiastic about the ongoing advancements of the Terril Agronomy Facility Expansion and its promising impact on the local farming community.

Pro Cooperative stands out in the agricultural landscape as more than just another player. With a membership of 2,500 and a strong presence across northwest and north central Iowa, they are a significant force offering a range of services from agronomy to grain, feed, and energy products. The Terril expansion project demonstrates a continued commitment to serving its members with excellence and fostering innovation in agricultural solutions.

Gales Design & Consulting is known for its innovative approach to construction management, centered around truly understanding and meeting clients’ specific needs. By combining project management expertise with a strong focus on client priorities, the company delivers tailor-made solutions from project inception to completion. Through careful planning, budgeting, risk assessment, and diligent oversight, Gales Design & Consulting ensures projects stay on track, minimizing potential delays and completing projects within budget. This commitment to excellence results in successful project outcomes and a seamless experience for clients, setting a new standard in construction management services.