Storage Prep Checklist

June 20, 2018 09:55 AM
Grain storage

Picture this: it’s harvest and bushels are rolling in. Everything is going smooth until your augers quit and your dryer can’t keep up. Now you’re at a standstill.

A few steps today can keep you out of a bind at harvest. Examine your grain bins and handling systems to make sure they’re all working. Then think through your dryer and storage capacity to determine if it’s adequate.

Karl Guetter, GSI regional sales manager, and Joe Shulfer, president of Mathews Company, offer several tips for a midseason maintenance check for grain bins and dryer systems:

  • Check service unloads on grain bins as well as sweeps, augers, gearboxes, motors, auger belts, chains, bearings and the aeration floor and
  • its components.
  • Take care of any rodent and pest issues and replace chewed wiring.
  • Power up the dryer, run fans, test fire burners, check for seized bearings, grease where needed and check for debris or water in gas lines.

While your checking your systems it’s a good time to consider mid- to late-season upgrades, Guetter says.

Upgrades can range from grain monitoring technology, which continues to evolve, to remote dryer monitoring systems that give you control from your smartphone or tablet. If you’re thinking about adding storage space such as a new bin, act quickly.

“From a storage standpoint we expect a strong year and we’ve ramped up capacity to accommodate,” Guetter says. “But the later the decision, the more challenging it becomes to have bins ready for harvest.”

With the chance for wetter grain this season, make sure dryers are ready to go. Proper drying can increase storage life, which could provide better marketing opportunities.

“On-farm drying is simpler and ROI is quick,” Shulfer says. “It’s not too late to get a dryer installed before harvest—often we can deliver a new machine as quickly as three weeks for certain models.”

To learn more about on-farm drying and optimizing your grain storage systems, visit

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