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(Avalon, WI) - By Catherine Idzerda, Gazette     

Gavilon's latest expansion is best described in four words: More bushels per hour.

On Friday, the company based in Omaha, Neb., announced it was starting its second round of improvements to its facilities in Avalon.

In September, the company unveiled the first part of its expansion. Most noticeable was the large, open-air concrete bin designed to hold 1.7 million bushels of grain. The company also added new inbound and outbound truck scales to save loading and unloading time.

The company now will build new rail lines and add equipment.

"Now, we're able to handle about 25 rail cars," said Derek Reed, Avalon site manager. "In the future, we'll be able to handle about 110."

A company news release indicates the latest round of improvements includes:

-- More than 12,800 feet of railroad track in and around the facility.

-- Equipment to load railcars at the rate of 60,000 bushels per hour. A bushel of corn takes up 1.2 cubic feet and weighs between 55 and 65 pounds.

-- Two receiving stations to unload trucks and rail cars into grain bins or other holding facilities at a rate of 20,000 bushels per hour.

-- A 150,000-bushel, multi-purpose steel storage bin and a 7,000-bushels-per-hour grain dryer.

The changes mean the Avalon facility will be better able to handle wet corn, Reed said in a news release.

After improvements are completed, the company will have space for 230,000 bushels of wet corn.

Work is expected to be finished by fall 2013.

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