If you’re starting up a grain farm or just trying to be more efficient it’s easy to get lost in the planning. One area that needs your foremost attention is your handling and storage system.
All grain farms need specialized equipment to succeed. That’s true even for small farms.
For a better chance at turning a profit, you’ll need to invest in a high-quality system for your farm.
Keep reading for more information on the best grain handling equipment.
The Basics of Grain Handling
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 25 percent of the nation’s 2.1 million farmers are brand new to the industry.
If you’re new to grain farming, you may not know where to start when it comes to managing your crop once it’s harvested. Here are some basics about the equipment you need to move, store, and dry your grain.
As a grain farmer, one of your biggest concerns is going to be maintaining proper grain storage.
You’ll need a storage system that keeps your grain dry and protected from the elements. Grain can spoil easily when stored improperly and a spoiled crop means lost profits for your business.
When it comes to choosing a storage system, you have options. The right choice for you will depend heavily on the size of your operation and the type of grain you plan to grow.
Look for a grain bin system that is complete. A complete grain bin includes at minimum, basic full floor aeration and a grain sweeping system. Additionally, a bin should have safe and easy access for inspecting and monitoring the stored grain. Choose a storage bin with an in-bin sweep to make unloading the bin safe and easy.
A portable auger is an economical and easy way to get your grain into the bin. Make sure the auger has plenty of reach and capacity so it does not create a bottleneck in your harvesting operations. Look for features like driver-over or swing hoppers. An electric swing hopper with a remote can save a lot of time for the truck drivers.
For unloading you can get away with using your portable auger. However, a better solution is to use a separate transfer auger, which increases the use life of the more expensive portable auger.
For the most convenient grain unloading, consider an integrated vertical unload system as part of your grain bin. A vertical unload eliminates the need for any other equipment when loading directly to a truck.
Modern bin systems eliminate most of the labor in cleaning out a bin. Complete in-bin sweep systems come standard in most grain storage. In-bin sweeps need to be placed over intermediate sumps before filling the bin. They allow for unloading of a bin without the need for dangerous entry or excessive shoveling. Once the sweep has done its job, it is easy to finish the residual cleaning of the bin to prepare it for the next fill.
You’ll need a way to ensure quality once your grain is harvested. A bin aeration system will quickly cool down your grain, which reduces spoilage and increases quality. Slightly off spec grain moisture can usually be amended with just natural air through a full floor aeration system. Most farmers with full floor aeration find it is enough to protect against mold and mildew that could ruin your crop. Your system should let you dry your crop quickly so it can be stored safely.
In-bin Grain Monitoring
If you plan to use temperature and/or moisture-monitoring cables in your grain bin, be sure to have the necessary cable supports and brackets installed while the bin is being erected. The brackets are inexpensive and easy to install during initial construction. Post construction, it can be very expensive to have the required brackets installed.
Weather monitoring and computer controlled fans are another option for automation to take the guesswork out of when you run your aeration fans. Simplifying the operation leaves you free to take care of other parts of the farm
Be sure to buy quality
The biggest draw of high-quality handling equipment? It’s built to last.
An equipment malfunction can be detrimental to a grain farm. Equipment breakdowns during harvest or storage can significantly impact your bottom line.
It’s essential that every piece of your system works like it’s meant to.
Personalize Your Setup
The best way to get the most out of your handling equipment is to consult a professional to design the system from the ground up. Advanced systems can include bucket elevators (legs), pit dumps, conveyors (belt, drag, or tube), grain dryers, mills, cleaners and more
Not only will a professional equipment provider be able to offer advice on the best choice for your crop, they’ll be able to construct a totally unique system that’s optimized for your farm.
A professional consultation is the best way to help you avoid pitfalls in planning your grain handling system
For the Best Grain Handling Equipment, Contact Adams Grain Bins
At Adams Grain Bins, we offer the best grain handling equipment in the Northwest. We’ll help you design an easy-to-manage system to store, handle, and dry your crop. We can personalize your setup to scale it to the size of any operation.
If you’re ready to get started, contact us today. Let us help you streamline your grain handling process.