With so many options of grain storage available, it can be tough to understand the differences between them and which one is the right fit for your operation. With the rapid increase of grain production in the Midwest, and the profitable marketing opportunities given by grain storage, you have probably seen new grain storage facilities going up in your area. You may have seen cement silo’s, steel corrugated bins, large canvas hoop buildings as well as round, smoothwall hopper bins and square overhead loadout or feed mill bins. Let take a brief look at the different options and the benefits of each.
These are very large, holding over 2 million bushels of grain. These gigantic buildings have concrete floors and short stem walls, and utilize a canvas fabric that is stretched across large steel trusses for a roof. They are filled from the roof with a conveyor system that runs along most of the building. They generally unload using an in-floor auger system. Large co-ops use these buildings for large amounts of commodity storage. Some of the benefits are that you can put dividers in it and store multiple commodities, or park equipment inside it.
Macon General Contractors: http://www.macongc.com/
Bucklin Buildings: http://www.bucklinbuildings.com/index.php
Mostly for large grain storage, with the smallest size generally holding 13,000 bushels. The largest ones hold 500,000 bushels and more. They are built using “jump forms” or “slip forms” that are set in place, filled with concrete and taken up to the next stage creating the side wall of the silo. Many co-ops and elevators use cement silos. They are great because they are competitively priced, last the longest out of any form of storage and can be designed to fit an existing facility or for a new facility.
McPherson Concrete: http://www.concretestoragesystems.com/
Steel, bolt-together corrugated bins are made by bolting together panels of steel that have been rolled into a radius with corrugations to keep it stiff. These panels are bolted together to form a solid ring, with a ring ranging from 3-5 feet in height and 5 to 156 feet in Diameter when bolted altogether. Multiple rings can be stacked to make the height of a bin over 100 feet. The amount of storage these bins can hold is anywhere from 100 bushel to over 1,000,000 bushels! The bins have a top cone and top door for filling, and depending on the size can have a hopper bottom or flat, concrete floor for the bottom of the bin. They are mostly used to store whole corn, soybean, wheat and various commodities at farm operations, elevators and co-ops. Bins that have a hopper on them can be used to store feed, and commodities as well. The benefits are the multiple size options and accessories and ease of transporting the steel parts to the grain bin site.
Round, Hopper Bottom Smoothwall bins are an all-welded, steel bin with no internal bracing or ribbing, and no bolts or corrugations. They provide a flat, smooth surface for grain, fertilizer, feed or other dry flow-able products. The perk of the smoothwall bin is that it handles product very gently, and with no bolts or ribbing, dirt and bacteria have a lot less to hang on to. They are available in size of 100 bushels to 5500 bushels. The hopper bottom makes them popular because they clean out completely, making them maintenance friendly. With different liner options, such as Epoxy, they make a great option for fertilizer storage and other corrosive materials. Other uses are wet holding bins, or overhead loadout bins for elevators and co-ops.
FCS Manufacturing: https://www.fcsmfg.com/round-bin-packages/
Square Overhead Bins:
Square, Overhead Feed Bins and Feed Systems are an efficient way to store feed, cubes or ingredients in a small space. For the rancher who is looking to store cubes, these small Overhead Feed bins saves a lot of time and work. Co-ops can deliver right to your farm, fill up your bin and you are ready to go. Most of the time, savings in buying bulk feed pays for the bin after a couple years. They also work great as Overhead Loadout bins, and can be bought as a one piece unit ready to set in place. The square design gives a lot of flexibility and can be divided into multiple bins with hoppers, which works well for feed mills. Sizes range from 100 bushel up to 15,000 bushels.
FCS Manufactuing: https://www.fcsmfg.com/square-bin-packages/