In recent years, many farmers have turned to alternative storage options, such as bags, to stockpile bin-busting yields. Doug Haley of Loftness Manufacturing and Clint Fisher of Antelope Farm Supply, who both work with and sell grain bags, provide these tips to keep grain bags in tip-top shape.
1. Check for holes or tears in the plastic. If you do find one, make it a priority to fix it to prevent the hole or tear from ripping more. Small holes or tears are a simple fix—tape. Bags come with tape for repairs, but duct tape and gorilla tape work well, too.
2. Insects likely won’t get into bags. There is no oxygen in the bag, so insects can’t survive. You might find a few insects at the opening of a bag if it’s not sealed correctly, but they usually don’t cause much damage and can blend out.
3. Rodents can be tricky because they come up from the ground. Experts suggest spreading dry urea before placing the bag. If that didn’t happen, it wouldn’t hurt to sprinkle urea around the bag.
4. Distract deer, raccoons and other bigger nuisance animals. If these animals realize the bags are filled with corn they can wreak havoc. Consider setting out feed 500' or so away from the bag so the critters stay far away.
5. Grain moisture determines shelf life. Moisture levels at 17% or lower are likely safe to store longer term—up to the two-year life of the bag. However, grain in the 25% to 30% range should be removed within two months.
6. Keep weeds and debris clear of the bags. Weeds are easy feeding sources that could attract wildlife and debris, which could cause damage to the bag, exposing grain to animals and the elements. A clear area also makes unloading the bag easier.