Grain storage is an essential part of the during and post-harvest process that helps to preserve the quality of grains and protects them from pests, moisture, and other potential contaminants whilst improving harvesting efficiencies.
In this article, we explore the benefits of effective grain storage and the different options available to you. Whether you're a seasoned farmer or new to the industry, read on for everything you need to know about how to properly store your grains.
Types of grain storage
There are several different types of grain storage options available to farmers, including:
These are large, flexible bags that are used to store grains. They are typically made of a durable, moisture-resistant material such as plastic or nylon. Grain bags are often used to store small quantities of grains and can be easily transported from one location to another.
Silos are large, vertical structures made of metal or concrete that are used to store large quantities of grains such as wheat and corn. They are airtight and moisture-proof, making them suitable for long-term storage.
Similar to silos, grain bins are large structures that are used to store grains. They are typically made of metal or plastic and have a conical shape. Grain bins are typically used to store grains that are temporarily held before being shipped to a processing facility.
Grain sheds are large structures that are used to store grains, either in open air or fully enclosed. They are typically made of concrete or metal and have a roof to protect the grains from the elements. Sheds are often used to store grains that are being dried or that are being temporarily held before being shipped to a processing facility. You can include concrete bunker-style walls, slider or roller doors, and awnings to suit your needs.
Overall, the type of grain storage a farmer chooses will depend on the quantity of grain they need to store, how long for, and the available resources.
An ABC Sheds grain shed, manufactured from structural steel to ensure secure storage of your harvest.
Benefits of effective grain storage
By storing your grain correctly, you can gain the following benefits:
Effective grain storage helps to preserve the quality of grains and protects them from potential contaminants, such as pests and moisture, which can cause grains to spoil or degrade. By storing grains in a controlled environment, that is, free from these contaminants, farmers can extend the shelf life of their grains and keep them in good condition for longer.
Higher nutritional value
With protection from the weather and contaminants, your stored grain can retain its nutritional quality. On the other hand, poorly stored grains may contain pollutants or be less nutritious, reducing their value and potentially causing harm to those who consume them.
Higher market value
High-quality grains are more likely to fetch a higher price on the market, as they are more desirable to buyers and processors. This helps to increase the profitability of a farmer's crops, as well as the long-term health of their animals. On top of that, you can also hold grains in storage until market rates increase, ensuring you gain maximum profit.
For Australian farmers, there is a major threat of insect or rodent infestations. With the right type of storage, you can protect your grain from pests, including mice. For example, a grain shed with concrete bunker-style walls is an effective way to keep mice out – and the shed can be fumigated as required.
If your grain is stored correctly and maintains its high quality, it will be more likely to withstand the rigours of storage and transportation. Additionally, it can be stored with convenience and efficiency in mind, and with easy vehicle access.
How to choose the right grain storage
Not sure what to look for when choosing grain storage? It is a significant decision so let us make it simple for you. There are several considerations that farmers should take into account when choosing a storage solution. These include:
1. How much grain are you storing?
The quantity of grain you need to store will influence the type of grain storage you choose. Silos and sheds are suitable for storing large quantities of grain, while grain bags may be more suitable for smaller quantities.
2. How long will the grain be stored?
The length of time that grains need to be stored will influence the type of storage you need. Sheds, silos, and grain bins are ideal for long-term storage, while grain bags are only suitable for shorter periods as they have a limited life span.
3. What are the environmental conditions?
If your grain will be exposed to environmental conditions, choose an appropriate storage solution that can protect it. Grain bags are not suited to humid or rainy conditions as the grain can get wet and lose its value. Sheds and silos, on the other hand, provide better protection against moisture and harsh weather.
4. What is your budget?
The cost of each storage option may also be a factor. Silos and sheds may be more expensive upfront while bags are more affordable. However, with less capacity and shorter storage times, bags are often less cost-effective. In the long run, it may be wiser to opt for a durable alternative that can store grains for an extended time.
5. Is it easy to use?
The ease of use of the different storage options should also be considered, particularly when comparing grain sheds with silos. For example, silos may be easier to fumigate but load times are much slower. And if you opt for a grain shed, consider incorporating a sliding door or an awning for easy vehicle access. This makes load times incredibly quick which is especially helpful when storing bumper harvests. Grain sheds also have multiple uses – when they are storing produce, they can also store machinery!
At ABC Sheds, our grain storage sheds are designed to provide maximum protection and capacity. See our sheds at the link below or build a custom shed in our virtual shed builder.