Neighbors Fear Loss Of Peace, Quiet Once Grain Elevator Is Built

Grain elevators are part of the landscape in rural Nebraska, but homeowners south of Omaha worry that big bins will cast a shadow over their country lifestyle.

After 12 years of country living, Casey and Rob Pfleger got a wake-up call. The rooster may soon be overwhelmed by noise from trucks pulling into a new grain elevator planned for right across the road from their Cass County home southwest of Plattsmouth. “Now we'll be listening to grain trucks coming in with their air brakes on and dryers during the fall when the harvest comes in,” says Rob.

Midwest Farmers Co-Op is closing the elevator two miles away to build one that will handle semis hauling in a million bushels of grain. Even though the couple had heard rumors about the co-op elevator to be built across the road, they didn't get the plans until the night before the approval hearing.

Co-Op manager Dale Piper says the intent to build on the land has been out there since last April. Still, to be good neighbors, he says engineers are looking at ways to move the silos back on the land and give the Pleglers more breathing room.

“It’s a start, but I'm still very skeptical and I'm still not happy because I don't want to look at these elevators, I don't want to listen to them, I don't want the traffic,” says Casey.

Eventually, other co-op products like anhydrous ammonia will be across the road from the Pflegers. For them, modern agriculture so close to their acreage doesn't make much horse sense. “Quiet, country life,” says Casey.

Piper says the new grain elevator will be safe and regulated. All the permits have been approved so construction should start soon with completion before the fall harvest. That is if the neighbors don't find a legal way to stop it.

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