Key Cooperative
Case Study


keycooperative dan
Dan Dunsbergen, Location Manager
Speed, efficiency, and customer service were the driving forces behind Key Cooperative’s newest fertilizer and crop chemical facility. Strategically, centrally located in Grinnell, IA, this state-of-the art facility needed to supply not only customers and trucks going out to the field, but also other locations as well. Speed without automation increases the potential for error. That’s why they brought in leading liquid handling equipment and automation provider, Murray Equipment, Inc. (MEI). “Our main goal was to service our member customers better,” said Dan Dunsbergen, Grinnell Location Manager, “but we also wanted to improve our overall efficiencies – improve inventory management, reduce shrink, increase storage for more purchasing power, limit employee exposure, and reduce the potential for operator and applicator error.”


Key Cooperative’s 1.5 million gallon liquid fertilizer and 120,000 gallon crop chemical facility features much of the latest in Murray Equipment technology. Complete with 2 fully automated fertilizer and crop chemical bays, which incorporate an automated weigh system, and a 24/7 unattended loadout bay, this facility was built for speed. “When a driver is done in a field he can call us un his way back to prepare for another load,” explained Dunsbergen. “We can create an order number and the driver just takes that order number to this facility where he fills his truck and takes the load and spray sheet out to the applicator. Then in our unattended bay both customers and transport drivers can get whatever fertilizer they need 24/7.” Murray Equipment was also the main supplier of liquid handling equipment. “I’ve worked with Murray for years and have a great relationship with them,” continued Dunsbergen. “I know if I need a part, in Iowa I can usually get it by the next day.”


This new facility allows Key Cooperative to supply customers on a timelier basis. This includes nearby customers and also those serviced by other locations. The facility’s proximity to I-80, rail, and the Mississippi river will improve inbound logistics. Larger storage capacity, greater inventory management, and limited labor requirements will increase overall margins. “We care a lot about our employees too.”  “We wanted to be able to mix hot loads, but we wanted to limit their exposure. Murray Equipment automation does that for us.” Finally, aesthetics were of concern. MEI’s powerful, yet streamlined ICS series panels complimented the overall clean and modern facility design provided by Marcus Construction.




The new facility includes Liquid Fertilizer Loadout for up to 22 chemistries, Unattended Loadout, N-Serve, Meeting Space, Seed, and more.


Key Cooperative’s new liquid fertilizer, crop chemical, and seed facility in Grinnell, IA stores 1.5 million gallons of liquid fertilizer and 120,000 gallons of crop chemicals.

ICS ControlPro

Inside the control room: MEI ICS 360 combined with Murray Interface offers a powerful, operator-friendly end-to-end automation solution.


The MEI ICS 240 Weigh System allows for multiple batches within a single batch due to new chemistries.


The Grinnell facility incorporates MEI ICS 240 Weigh System which is designed to create precise chemical and fertilizer blends.


The new facility features 2 fully automated fertilizer & crop chemical bays that require only a single operator.


Coriolis mass flow meters dramatically increase loadout speed and precision.

Meters 2

The cutting-edge weigh system incorporates Total Control Systems meters for accurate and repeatable volumetric metering.

ics 2

The intuitive MEI ICS Unattended Loadout provides convenience and ensures customers get what they need, when they need it. It updates inventory in real-time.

liquid handling

Murray Equipment also supplied the liquid handling equipment used in the facility.

bays 2

The Unattended Loadout bay allows customers and transport drivers to pick up loads 24/7.


The sleek and simple design of MEI ICS 360 and Murray Interface complements the overall clean and modern facility design. Redundant manual controls ensure maximum uptime.


The new facility includes 120,000 gallons of crop chemicals stored in stainless steel tanks.

facility 2

The new facility offers large storage capacity, and permits expansion as demand grows.


Dan Dunsbergen, Grinnell Location Manager & Licensed Crop Insurance Agent

layout 2

Self-leveling gangway with fall protection and telescoping arms are designed to provide a safe environment for operators and drivers.


The unattended bay capitalizes on industry-proven technology to ensure ease-of-use for both customers and transport drivers.


The unattended loadout bay is accessible to the other bays through an internal, lockable, door.


Murray Equipment assembles and stocks pumps, meters, and other liquid handling equipment in-house to ensure its systems have maximum uptime.


Key Cooperative Grinnell, IA location.

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