On October 8, within the framework of the project of the Dnipro office of the European Business Association* – EBA Dnipro Best Business Practices – a visit to the Ingulets elevator of the G.R. Agro group of companies in the Dnipropetrovsk region took place. An interesting, active and really productive excursion was held under the slogan “Renovation of an elevator with a 100 – year history”. After all, the Ingulets elevator complex, despite the fact that it entered the G.R. Agro structure only in 2016, began its history back in 1923!

Today, the Ingulets elevator is a fully mechanized complex with a total capacity of 52 thousand tons of grain for single-use floor storage. The daily intake rate of agricultural products is 3.6 thousand tons, shipment is 2.8 thousand tons.

The time of the meeting – it was the height of harvesting late grain crops in the farms of the region – allowed all the guests to trace the entire path of grain entering the elevator: from laboratory testing of raw materials before receiving it to loading into grain wagons for further transportation to Ukrainian ports and subsequent export to the world market. Approaching the territory of the complex, it was impossible not to notice the queue of grain trucks that are taking corn and sunflower of the new crop to Ingulets from different districts of the Dnepropetrovsk region. All of them were waiting for the laboratory assistant, having previously taken samples of grain, to examine it and give the go-ahead for the reception of the entire batch brought.

Conducting a short tour of the laboratory, the head of the G.R. Agro elevator farm, the director of the Inguletsky elevator Oleg Opryshko said that the grain season – 2021/22 for the complex started well enough.
“The harvesting campaign of the harvest – 2021 is just in full swing. As of today (as of the first decade of October. – Editor’s note) our elevator received more than 66.5 thousand tons of grain: about 1 thousand tons of peas, 26 thousand tons of barley, 20 thousand tons of wheat, 18 thousand tons. tons of sunflower and a little more than 1.5 thousand tons of corn,” – he said.

At the same time, speaking about the quality of grain accepted in the current season, O. Opryshko noted less comforting estimates.

“If we talk about early cereals, then, despite their higher yields than in the last MG, the quality indicators are significantly worse than last year’s. The barley of the harvest – 2021 had a lower nature, and wheat in 80% of cases was forage or non-class, and only 20% of grain was recorded as food,” explained the director of the Ingulets elevator.

O. Opryshko also noted that it is necessary to accelerate the shipment of early grain from warehouses at the elevator, since the reception of corn is gaining active pace.

Regarding the quality of the accepted sunflower seeds of the new crop, the head of the laboratory, Tatiana Burkovskaya, clarified that it is fixed at a fairly good level.

“The main quality indicators of sunflower are normal: there is no excessive clogging, moisture also does not exceed the maximum permissible values. There are no questions about the oil content of seeds. In general, we cannot say that the quality is very different from last year, sometimes if it happens, it is for the better,” she said, showing the guests modern laboratory equipment, samples in the queue for inspection and many other useful and interesting things that laboratory assistants use daily in their work.

In addition to the holy of holiest – the laboratory, the guests were shown other stages of grain reception at the Ingulets elevator – weighing, acceptance, purification, drying, warehousing and, of course, shipment.

Besides Oleg Opryshko, our personal guide was also the Operating Director of G.R. Agro Artem Rempen. He conducted all the “most vicious” places of the elevator complex and told about the reconstructions that were carried out at the facility over 5 years of G.R. Agro management.

In particular, according to A. Rempen, last year a new grain dryer with a capacity of 90 tons/hour was launched at the Inguletsky elevator. It is she who, as a brilliant ray of the burning sun, is the brightest object of the 100 – year-old complex. As they joke in G.R. Agro, this dryer, as a kind of attraction, is the most photographed place on the territory of the elevator.

Automation of the grain dryer allows Ingulets workers to control grain moisture, the state of operation of burners, turbofan, as well as the operation of conveyors. O. Opryshko demonstrated how easily it can be controlled, and even remotely.

Among other advantages of the elevator complex is the presence of four independent technological lines, which makes it more mobile, since each of the lines allows you to take a separate culture.

As A.Rempen noted, over the past few years, all transport equipment has been updated at the Ingulets elevator, as well as three out of four auto unloaders, due to which the speed of grain intake has increased significantly.

After the reconstruction of the granary and full automation of the processes, the elevator received a record number of cars loaded with grain – 114 units per day.

“At the moment, all reconstructions have been completed at the Ingulets elevator. While we are working on re-equipping other elevators of our Group. In the future, most likely, it will be necessary to increase the existing storage capacities of the Ingulets elevator,” said the Operating Director of G.R. Agro.

During the conversation, A. Rempen also shared his vision of the current situation in the grain and oil seed markets.

“Today, about 40% of farmers are ready to sell their grown products directly from the field. The remaining 60% hold the raw materials, gradually selling them after harvesting. If we talk about us, at the moment about 35% of the products entering our elevators go directly into contracts under the current spot prices, and 65% (and sunflower up to 80%) goes into storage. Accordingly, the shortage of products generates an increase in prices,” he said.

During the meeting, many more topical and “painful” topics for Ukrainian producers and traders were discussed, and many forecasts of what awaits Ukrainian agribusiness were voiced. All this happened during a leisurely walk between the long floor storage filled to the brim with grain, the high working towers of the elevator, the necessarily dusty grain reception points and the railway tracks going off into the distance and taking the finished batches of products far to the sea. We even managed to see it all at once from the height of one of the towers! Then the conversation continued in a more cozy atmosphere, with delicious treats from very hospitable hosts and less formal topics for communication. Traveling to different parts of the Dnepropetrovsk region, we promised to return. To return to each other with cool proposals for cooperation with one goal – to jointly develop the agricultural business of Ukraine.

*The European Business Association (EBA) was founded in 1999 with the support of the European Commission in Ukraine. Since then, it has grown to become the most influential and numerous business association in Ukraine. The purpose of the EBA is to give its companies the opportunity to jointly solve issues important for the investment climate of Ukraine and improve it for the benefit of industry, society, economy and the country as a whole.

Uniting more than 900 companies, the European Business Association is one of the largest business communities operating in the Ukrainian market. The Association actively promotes the development of cooperation between Ukraine and the EU.