Breaking News Bar

End of an era: Bunge closes Harrisburg grain elevator

Posted on 8/2/2013, 2:49 PM

Farmer Danny Evans, Harrisburg, said the closing of Bunge's Harrisburg grain elevator on July 31 marks the end of an era.

"For the first time in decades there is no place in Saline County for farmers to sell their grain," he said Wednesday.

St. Louis based Bunge operates grain elevators in McLeansboro and Shawneetown, which has the advantage of being closer to the Ohio River.

"I figure our local farmers will sell in Shawneetown or McLeansboro," Evans said.

According Evans' sources the first bushel of grain was sold in Saline County in the 1880s.

"Bungee started its Harrisburg operation in the 1950s, if I remember correctly," said Harrisburg farmer J. P. Hart, who is now retired. "Speedy Meyers operated an elevator in Eldorado from the 1940s to the 1970s. And FS used to buy some grain until the tornado. They decided to stop after the storm.

"It's all economics. If it can't pay for itself, you got to shut it down."

The Eldorado grain elevator, a wooden structure, burned in a spectacular fire several years ago.

Bunge would not comment on the closing of the Harrisburg grain elevator.