There are now various options available to keep grain secure – from bags and silos to grain sheds. When deciding which storage option will work best for you there can be a number of different factors that will determine which storage solution you go with. Certain storage options have particular benefits so it’s important that you weigh these up so that you have a grain storage solution that’s right for you, and will work well no matter the season.
Harvest season can be an extremely busy time of year for many farmers with long months of hard work managing crops finally paying off! It’s important that freshly harvested grain is stored correctly so that it doesn’t go to waste so it’s worth reassessing your storage options every now and again to ensure you’re using the best method for your farm.
We’ve highlighted the benefits of the different grain storage options available so that you’re well equipped in choosing the storage solution that is right for you.
The different grain storage options available
Grain sheds, storage bags and silos all have their own advantages and offer various benefits to suit a variety of farmers that harvest grain.
Grain storage bags
Storage bags, otherwise known as silo bags, are simply that – bags that store set amounts of grain. There isn’t a high cost involved in purchasing storage bags for grain and for farmers that may be harvesting a limited amount of grain or only for the odd season here and there, they can be an economical choice. Grain storage bags also come in handy if you will need to be separating different types of grain and are a solid option if you’re moving the grain around often, and in small loads.
While storage bags can be great for short-term storage it’s important to note that they’re only supposed to be used for a maximum of a few months. Storing grain for any longer than this could affect the quality of your grain and may also result in insect or pest infestation. Therefore it’s important to regularly inspect the bags and if your farm is environmentally conscious, it’s worth considering the plastic impact of using these three-layer polyethylene bags. Capable of storing 100 to 240 tonnes of grain you can expect to pay around $5 per tonne for each bag.
Silos are one of the most common ways that grain is stored in Australia. These are a great option for those people that may harvest large amounts of grain as they’re a large capacity storage option. They’re also an effective long-term storage solution as they’re sturdy enough to keep grain well protected from the elements.
While silos can be an effective long-term solution for grain storage, they may not be suitable for all types of grain like high-moisture grains. These types of grains will not empty effectively from silos so instead something like storage bags, or grain sheds should be considered.
It’s important to note that there’s also a high up-front cost of purchasing silo(s) which is an essential consideration before you get underway. Silos can also be difficult to load with grain, if you don’t have the right equipment available. Health concerns have been raised with grain silos as well. This includes explosive dust and respiratory damage, which should be factored into your decision-making around grain silos.
Grain sheds tend to work well for most farmers as an easy way to store and protect their harvested grain. Grain can easily be driven into a shed with the use of a truck or tractor and simply unloaded straight away – this reduces the amount of manual labour involved and can result in quick harvesting without too many delays.
Grain sheds are generally vast open spaces which makes them very versatile too. Simply store your grain during harvest season and when your shed is empty, utilise the space to store your farm equipment, machinery and more! You’ll also be adding value to your land by adding a grain shed that can be used for a variety of different purposes. A grain shed can be incredibly multi-purpose if designed correctly. Adding a workshop, implement section or a fully-enclosed lockable bay enables you to easily store farm machinery and attachments within the building itself – something that silos are not often built to factor in.
Use a grain shed for grain storage
Grain sheds are the perfect way to make sure that your grain stays dry and protected from the elements all-year-round. Our farming customers agree too and would recommend a grain shed as an economical solution and a good alternative to a storage system like a silo!
Long-time customer, Gerrit Kurstjens from Kurstjens Farming, has built many a grain shed and silo over the years for crop harvesting, and has listed the many benefits of using a grain shed over a silo. These include:
Cost-effective: Storing grain is a marginal business therefore it must be economical. A grain shed costs only half the price of a silo and for the same amount of money, you can store double the amount of grain too. Investing in a grain shed will make sure that you’re not wasting money. A versatile grain shed will provide you with plenty of value, even if you’re not storing grain in the shed all-year-round.
Works well in fluctuating seasons: As we all know drought and other unfavourable weather conditions can have a big impact on grain harvests and a bad year of weather can result in a bad year for your harvest. Because of this, it’s not economical to buy expensive silos for all the grain on the farm, as they can sit there unused. A better approach is to store about half of your average crop in a big cost-effective grain shed, that gives extra room for a bumper crop. You can then afford to keep the shed empty (or full of farm machinery and equipment) in a dry year.
This large ABC Sheds grain shed is made for serious harvesting!
Here at ABC Sheds, we offer versatile grain sheds that can be used to protect your grain harvest or your machinery. Our fully engineered grain sheds will ensure that your harvest remains dry no matter the weather. We use galvanised frames to provide a strong foundation for our buildings and with our smart designs, every structure will be able to withstand even the harshest weather conditions.
We’re also working on new technology which will air seal the grain inside the shed so no need to worry anymore about fumigation difficulties to protect from weevils – the grain will be protected no matter what!
Harvest season will roll around quickly so make sure you’re prepared with the storage that you need now! For inspiration, you can check out some of our previous grain shed projects here or enquire with us now to discuss your grain shed needs.