If you are budgeting for a new grain shed, or you are working on updating the insurance for your existing shed, chances are you have asked: how much does it cost to build a grain shed?
The cost to build a grain shed, like all building projects, is determined by a number of factors.
So, in order to answer this question accurately, in this article we’ll be looking at the two main factors that influence grain shed prices:
Grain shed design
Grain shed size
Obviously, there will be other factors come into play, such as project location, but as this will vary from project to project, we’ll keep the discussion general and provide approximate costs.
First, let’s talk about grain shed design.
How Grain Shed Design Influences The Cost
With on-farm grain storage such as grain sheds growing in popularity for Australian farms, the 2021 bumper harvest has only strengthened this trend.
First and foremost, your grain shed design should be governed by your grain storage requirements and priorities, such as hygiene and aeration, rather than by price. For example, open-front grain sheds are a popular option for storing faba beans as the aeration through the shed helps prevent discolouration.
So, which grain shed design is most cost-effective?
Generally, a three-sided ‘hay shed’ style building incorporating grain walls on three sides is the most cost-effective. Often growers will incorporate some sort of false wall to the open side through the use of hay bales or similar, however it pays to consider the extra labour required to achieve this. It is also worth considering the potential impact of weather in a shed of this configuration.
Here are three of the most common design options, the advantages and disadvantages of each and how much they cost:
1. Inside-Out Grain Shed
This is what we use to describe a shed that is constructed with iron installed to the inside of the shed rather than the outside. This has been a common building method for grain sheds for many years. The wall girts are spaced accordingly to allow for grain storage to 3 metres on the walls, including the use of struts and intermediate posts to support the grain load.
This type of building provides a clean skin inside the shed for minimal dust collection. It is common to see any type of cereal grain stored in this type of shed, however fertilizer storage is not recommended due to the risk of corrosion.
A common challenge often raised with an inside-out grain shed design is the potential damage to the iron when a loader is in use. It is possible to overcome this risk by installing a concrete plinth around the edges of the shed in conjunction with the slab.
The cost per tonne of storage for this type of shed ranges between $80 – $160 per tonne (including cost of concrete slab), subject to factors like size and the type of commodity being stored.
2. Concrete Panel
This type of construction is viewed as the most premium and secure method to store grain in a shed. The shed construction incorporates pre-cast concrete panel walls fastened to the inside of the shed columns, most commonly at 3 metres high. Extra supporting steelwork is installed to accommodate the concrete and grain loads. The main advantage of this construction is the seal the shed walls have at ground level, providing an effective barrier against pests.
A concrete panel grain shed has the added flexibility of fertilizer storage, due to concrete walls being able to withstand its corrosive nature.
The cost for this type of construction ranges between $100 – $200 per tonne, due to the number of customization options available.
3. Open Front Grain Shed
For storage options where a fully-enclosed shed is not important, an open front grain shed is a cost-effective and versatile option. Constructed with either concrete panel or iron walls on the three enclosed sides, and open on the third side this configuration provides plenty of versatility for hay or machinery storage.
How Grain Shed Size Influences The Cost
The bigger the grain shed is, the more it will cost – however it is worth remembering that the larger the shed capacity the lower the cost per tonne.
While this seems self-explanatory, a bigger grain shed won’t cost more just because more materials and labour are required.
For large scale grain sheds and complex projects, the permit process will be more involved and may require more paperwork such as fire design and access requirements, incurring additioanl adminstrative costs. This generally comes into effect for buildings over 2000m².
Read our article; How much do shed permits cost?, to help budget for your shed permits.
If you would like to learn more about fire design requirements, watch the video below. Otherwise keep scrolling to learn about grain shed costs and prices.
Now that we have discussed the two main influencing factors – design and size – let’s look at how much a grain shed costs.
How Much Does A Grain Shed Cost?
The average grain shed costs approx. $300,000 including the costs for the concrete slab.
This is based on a wide range of grain sheds sizes and designs that we build, so to give you an idea of how these vary, here are the prices of some of our most popular grain sheds.
Common Grain Shed Sizes & Costs
- A 30m x 18m grain shed stores 1,500 tonnes and costs approx. $150 – $190 / tonne
- A 36m x 24m grain shed stores 3,000 tonnes and costs approx. $130 – $160 / tonne
- A 56m x 27m grain shed stores 6,000 tonnes and costs approx. $100 – $135 / tonne
- An 80m x 30m grain sheds stores 10,000 tonnes and costs approx. $85 – $115 / tonne
So, what else will impact the price of a grain shed?
Here are some other factors that will influence the cost of your grain shed project.
- Materials (Action Steel sheds are manufactured from UB columns and open web trusses, and hot dip galvanised after manufacture).
- Taking advantage of the instant asset write-off for fodder storage sheds
- Thickness of concrete slab due to truck and loads from machinery.
- Any height requirements that need to be considered, for example, adequate clearance for truck tipping.
Cost of Grain Sheds versus Silos
Generally, grain sheds will work out to be more cost-effective than silos per tonne, but obviously silos have their advantages such as sealing, fumigation, and segregation so keep your storage requirements front of mind when budgeting for your project.
Useful Resources & Articles
We’ve updated our grain shed guide with the latest grain shed projects and design and storage ideas. Download your FREE copy, here.
To help you determine the best shed size for storing grain, use this calculator.
Identifying grain storage insects and pests before any serious damage occurs and understanding their characteristics helps you recognize how your grain could be affected. This allows for tailored and targeted pest control options, allowing growers to choose the best chemical and non-chemical control measures for the situation.
The 14,000 tonne on-farm grain storage shed designed, built and project managed for Read Farming for the 2021 harvest, is a quality example of good grain storage.
We hope this article about grain sheds prices and how much they cost to build has helped you with your grain storage shed plans. If you would like more information on our grain shed designs, or would like a quote, call us on 1800 68 78 88.