A simple look at yield trend lines should convince farmers that sooner or later, on-farm grain storage expansion could be a reality, according to Gary Woodruff, conditioning applications manager for GSI.
“Farmers should always assume there will be growth in yield and bushels,” he says. “Always anticipate expanding and have a well-though-tout plan that factors in growth and future technology changes.”
In particular, Woodruff shares six thoughts he says can help shape grain storage expansion decisions.
- Always leave space open for additional grain bins.
- Don’t assume wet holding capacity will always be adequate. When you start drying more grain, you will need more wet bushel storage capacity, Woodruff says.
- A “traffic pattern” for separate grain dumping and loading stations will increase efficiency. If you can load and unload grain at the same time, you’ll decrease total harvest time and save money.
- Make sure an in-bin or out-of-bin high-capacity drying system matches your farm’s needs. When total number of bushels increases, you should add a higher capacity dryer or a second one, Woodruff says.
- When it comes to storage, number of grains stored is just as important as total number of bushels stored, Woodruff says. For example, if you need to store three types of grain, investing in three smaller bins might prove to be the best strategy. It will make the grain easier to manage and offer more storage options and flexibility.
- Consider on-farm storage located on a state highway. This will allow you to haul grain year-round without any road restrictions.
“No two farms are exactly alike, which is why a grain storage system must be designed to meet each farm’s current and future needs,” Woodruff says. “A poorly designed on-farm grain storage system may increase labor, reduce efficiency and create safety issues that a well-planned system avoids.”