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TREND WATCH: Grain bagging

Over the weekend I was visiting our family’s long-time friends, Mary, Arlen, and Sheila Hall, who had driven in from Kansas for our annual fishing trip and Arts Meander. Mary mentioned that farmers in her area were bagging their harvested grain this year to avoid the long lines at the elevator.

Turns out it’s a trend in other states, too. This morning I received an email from a rep at Loftness Specialized Equipment, a company in Hector, MN, saying they've been experiencing a huge spike in demand for their grain bagging equipment, especially in the Upper Midwest and Canada, due to the rail issues. Since most of the grain bins and elevators in the region are full, farmers have few options left for their fall harvest, besides bagging it or piling it on the ground.

Grain bags are designed and developed to store dry grain. A lot of improvements have been made to grain bagging systems in the last three years. For example, they’re built a little heavier and have been reinforced with steel in some places. Loftness says it is a good option for storage, whether in the field or at a grain storage site, as long as the bags are placed on clean ground with good drainage and free of sharp objects.

Loftness’ gain bagging system is called GrainLogix. The grain bags are made of polyethylene and come in sizes of 10 ft. x 250 ft. with a capacity of around 10,000 bu. The cost of storing works out to be about 5¢ - 7¢ per bushel, Loftness says. There’s a video on their website that shows how it works, along with what you need to get set up.

Other companies make grain baggers, too. A few big names are Richiger, Koyker, Renn, Mainero, and Akron.

You’ll also see some lively discussions on the internet at The Combine Forum and New Ag Talk about the pros and cons and which brands are best.

Purdue University just issued a news release on what to look for in a grain bagging system, also called “bag silos,” along with what you need to do to manage this grain bin alternative. Check it out here

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