A Guide To Effective Grain Storage

Having on-farm storage can help grain producers maximise their marketing opportunities and sell when the time is right. However, there can be a number of challenges involved in on-farm storage including grain quality management, length of storage time and the cost of infrastructure.

In this article we look at these challenges and what you need to have in place for safe and effective grain storage.

Your Grain Storage Options

 

The Challenges Of Grain Storage

Grain quality management

Damage from mould and damage from insects are two key storage issues for grain producers in Australia. The climate can easily give rise to both, so it is important to maintain quality control to prevent unnecessary crop spoilage and wastage.

The CSIRO recommends taking preventative measures such as sufficiently drying grain before putting it into storage.

You should also keep storage facilities clean and make sure no old grain remains before storing the latest harvest. Aeration cooling systems could also potentially help prevent mould and insect issues.

 

Longer term storage

The length of time your grain is to be stored can also present challenges. This makes selecting the right type of storage critical, which we will discuss later on.

 

Building and maintenance costs.

Looking at the pros and cons and balancing the value of being able to sell when you choose against the cost of building and maintaining the storage facilities, can be challenging.

Some of the costs to keep in mind other than the facilities themselves are; any equipment used to handle the grain, maintenance and insurance policies.

 

Truck loaded in grain storage shed

 

Pros & Cons Of  Your Grain Storage Options

There are various ways to store your grain, whether on-farm or off-site. These include storage bags, silos and grain sheds; however, it is important to evaluate which option will work best for you. Often these storage options can be used in conjunction with each other for practical and efficient grain handling operations.

Learn more about the different options available

 

Providing Effective Grain Storage

Safety

 

Adequate ventilation

  • Effective ventilation when storing grain helps create a climate-controlled space that means moisture and air vapour is reduced. This means the quality of the grain is not compromised before sale.

 

Room for expansion

  • When planning your grain storage, ensure you have adequate storage space to accommodate current and future needs. This allows for future expansion and prevents the danger of overfilling silos or grain sheds.

 

Proper flooring

  • A concrete floor is an ideal option for your grain shed as it acts as a moisture barrier, protects grain quality, and allows easy sweeping and clean-up.

 

Sealed storage

  • It is important to ensure grain storage is sealed to protect grain from insects and pests. In the case of silos, sealing can also help reduce the amount of silo gases (caused by the natural fermentation process) making their way outside.

 

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