Our Guide to Grain Storage – the How, the Why and the, How Long!

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Our Guide to Grain Storage – the How, the Why and the, How Long!

Grain storage, how to store grain, why we store grain and how long grain can be stored for, is always a topic that generates a lot of debate amongst both grain buyers in Australia and grain sellers. With many storage options available to grain growers, and markets that are quite volatile at times, there are many things to consider. 

Whether you are looking to take advantage of changes in the market, or you are looking to obtain a better or greater price on your grains after long-terms storage, taking advantage of increases to prices in a fluctuating grain market, storing grains can be an essential part of a healthy modern farming enterprise, where obtaining professional advice from a grain marketing expert, such as the team at Grainwise may be advantageous. 

Effective Grain Storage – working with the elements. 

From a farming or grain growers’ perspective, grains are simply living seeds that need to be kept alive and maintained in their best condition possible in order to achieve a premium sales price. If they are left to decay and rot, they die, making them worthless and severely impacting the bottom lines of grain growing enterprises. 

Grains have three big enemies – High Temperatures, Humidity, and Insects. In fact, high temperatures and humidity attract insects that degrade the quality and quantity of your grains. In turn, an infestation in a grain storage area will lead to an increase in the moisture content. This is definitely a vicious cycle and one in which grain growers and producers must navigate effectively in order to be productive and successful. 

This is why farmers across the globe have adopted storage practices that allow them to store grains effectively for months, sometimes years.

Silo storage – The Most Common Grain Storage Solution 

The most common form of grain storage in Australia is in silos. As outlined in Grain Farming Facts – How to Fill a Grain Silo, grain silos have a long- and well-established history in Australia in terms of grain storage. 

Grain silos were first used thousands of years ago, for the same purpose they are today, to store and protect from the elements, assets such as grain. Archaeological ruins, and texts depict those silos were used in Ancient Greece, as well as in other parts of the world, as far back as the late 8th century BC. 

The use and purpose of grain silos in the grain farming process is to store excess grain product, that can be used and or sold at a future date. Depending upon variety and storage conditions, grain can be kept in silo’s for between 2-3 years, which has the advantage for growers of holding grain until prices are at a premium, ensuring they receive the biggest profits. 

Silos are also relatively cheap in terms of construction and maintenance costs, making them a very attractive storage solution for gain growers.

Correct Storage Processes – Long-Term Grain Storage 

As mentioned above, storing grains correctly is the only way to ensure that your crop is profitable and income generating, particularly if you are wanting to store long term. There are many ways in which grain has been stored over the decades, with greater developments and research into agricultural practices, including grain storage, meaning the grain storage process has diversified. 

So, what are the most common ways grain growers store grains in Australia? And, What tips and tricks about grain storage should grain growers be paying attention to? 

High Quality Sealed Silos 

Keeping grains out in open warehouses or in unsealed silos just won’t do the job! Sealed Silos allow the farmer to keep insects and moisture out and control the temperature of the grains. You will need to ensure that the Silo does not have any water leaks. If it does, the whole exercise could fail, as water will increase moisture level inside the Silo. Investing in a good quality Silo is an investment in your farming business itself and must not be overlooked.

Ensuring your grain silos are clean and fumigated

Before the Silo is loaded with grains, it is important the correct storage hygiene is practiced. This involves ensuring that your silo has been thoroughly cleaned and fumigated. This process also ensures that there is no cross contamination of grains that has previously been stored in this facility. 

Next, all equipment that the grains will come in contact with, will also need to be fumigated thoroughly. Usually, one spray allows for a year of protection to the Silo, but this may differ, depending on the weather, grain type, and other conditions. It is also important to check under the floor areas for any kind of infestation, or for any buildup of excess dirt or weeds.

Effective Aeration 

In order to reduce the instances of rot or mould, which would lead to grains being worthless and ruined, it is important to consistently ensure through active monitoring both temperature and moisture levels. It is also important to have a Silo that comes with the option to pump air to dry or cool the grains if need be. 

Clean and Dry Grains

Another factor that is vital in terms of grain storage is ensuring stored grain is clean and dry. It is vital to ensure the ability for grain to be stored long-term that the grains are not infested with insects in the first place. When insects breathe and reproduce, they produce moisture, increasing the moisture content of the whole Silo. Additionally, the grains must not have any weeds and impurities in order to achieve an optimum selling price when you decide to sell. The grain will have to be cleaned and they dried to a moisture content that is less than 12%. 

How the Grainwise team can assist!

Equipped with decades of industry experience, and extensive knowledge of the grain storage processes, particularly the processes that will assist grain growers in Australia to be able to effectively store grains long term, the Grainwise team are your ultimate grain storage partners! 

The Grainwise team, as experienced grain brokers are fully aware of the important decisions that grain farmers make in terms of logistical operations on their farms. Our team are experts when it comes to grain logistics and Grainwise Logistics Services can certainly take out some of the guesswork associated with filling, maintaining and sourcing grain storage facilities, such as silos. 

Additionally, we also specialise in marketing plans for a variety of crops. With a marketing plan customised to your unique business, we can help reduce your peak period risk and contribute to year-round sales. 

With strong customer focused values, we firmly believe that our success is your success, and our team are happy to assist in any way we can to ensure continued profitability for your grain faming enterprise. We work collaboratively with grain growers, providing the ultimate benefit to grain growers of market knowledge and experience. If you need further information on farm storage solutions, such as grain silos, please Contact Us and discuss your grain farming storage options with one of our experienced grain brokers today.

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