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So, you want to build a grain bin?

Slideshow: Use this roundup to find a bin that fits your farm. Numerous companies offer a variety of sizes with useful features.

12 Slides

At a Glance

  • The 10,000-bushel farm bin gave way to bins holding 100,000 bushels and more.
  • Not all grain bins are created equal — look beyond the brochures and below the surface.
  • Some companies offer patented design components and other optional features.

You finally decide to invest in an on-farm grain storage bin and equipment to load and unload it. Then you realize you have only made the first of many difficult decisions.

Which brand of grain bins should you choose? How big should you build the bin? Do you need a leg and unloading pit? Will you need more grain bins in the future? Let your mind run, and the list of questions will be long.

Here is a place to start. This is a roundup of bin options available from various grain equipment companies. The list is not all-inclusive, but you could start here and then check out other options too.

Use this guide to help decide what questions to ask. Determine which features deserve further investigation. Use the contact information to gather more insight and make comparisons.

AGI: Strong and tough. AGI grain bins use galvanized steel throughout. Jeff Cruzen with AGI says their grain bin wall sheets offer industry-leading corrosion protection. Bin floors use 16-gauge steel with built-in corrugation on planks to increase strength and rigidity. Planks are also designed with a built-in crown to provide additional strength.

The outer bin door includes a lock, which makes the door secure even during challenging weather conditions.

Look even closer and discover that SAE Grade 8 bolts are used throughout these bins to provide maximum shear capacity. A one-ring base anchors the bin and holds it securely to the concrete pad. Visit

Related:New tech simplifies grain handling

Brock: More than a slogan. Brock spokespersons insist that “Brock Solid” is more than a slogan. Brock Solid also describes how bins are anchored to their concrete foundation with a strong, load-bearing connection. Bolts are protected to provide a water-tight seal.

Brock on-farm grain bins come in sizes from 15 to 48 feet in diameter, with the Everest Series commercial bins going up to 156 feet in diameter and holding more than 1.93 million bushels.

Brock’s Parthenon Floor Support System in farm bins is available for floor heights from 13.75 to 18.5 inches and is compatible with 10-inch auger unloading systems. Strategically placed holes help improve aeration.

Brock’s Tri-Corr aeration floor design makes for the strongest aeration bin floor in the industry, spokespersons say. Individual planks fit together to provide unparalleled support.

An outside door that latches securely and an inner door that consists of four individual panels and a unique locking system provide increased operator safety. Plus, the door can’t be locked from the inside. Visit

Related:These are not your dad’s grain dryers

Chief: Unique stiffener design. Chief Agri’s “W” stiffener design is exclusive to its bins and can support about twice the weight of other stiffener designs, according to company spokespersons. The additional strength from the “W” stiffener allows for sidewall heights of more than 100 feet.

Another key feature of Chief bins is the V-rib roof, which provides more durability and protection against the elements. The grade of steel in those roof panels has increased to 40 kilopounds per square inch. Visit or call 800-359-7600.

Conrad American: Plenty of choices. A farmer-owned business, Conrad American features six options of storage bins from 15 to 90 feet in diameter. The bins come in standard, heavy and recirculating models with either wide or narrow corrugated sidewalls, and they feature the option to add stiffeners for additional strength. There is a choice of two or three stiffeners per sidewall sheet.

The extra-large manway is a feature that sets Conrad American’s storage bins apart. With a 35-inch peak opening, this additional space allows for easier access and a safer experience. A large 40-inch fill opening reinforced with a 10-gauge ring also provides efficiency. Visit or call 319-469-4141.

Related:Economics powers interest in mixed-flow dryers

GSI: Small, big and bigger. If you need a 15-foot-diameter grain bin that holds 1,600 bushels, GSI can provide it. Likewise, if you want a 60-foot-diameter bin that holds 122,000 bushels, GSI can make that bin too. In fact, Evo 50 Series bins can go as large as 78 feet in diameter and hold over 439,000 bushels. With the Evo 2X Series of commercial bins, using double-length sheets, GSI can make a bin up to 156 feet in diameter that holds just under 2 million bushels.

“We have capability to deliver a large range when it comes to size and capacity of bins,” explains Alan Lockwood, product manager for GSI.

But GSI is also about quality, not just capacity, Lockwood adds. Key features for the Evo 50 Series include an optimized bolt pattern with fewer overall holes, plus interlaced and laminated sheets on larger bins to keep water out.

See all the specs for the exact size of bin you want at Detailed charts indicate the number of stiffeners required, eve height and peak height of grain for each size of bin.

Sioux Steel: Built for heavy grain. De-signed for grain with test weights hitting 64 pounds per bushel, Sioux Steel bins are available in diameters from 15 to 48 feet. Commercial bins go up to 132 feet in diameter and can hold about 1 million bushels.

Farm bins feature 4-inch corrugation on sidewall sheets to cut down on friction and help grain move easily. All bins come standard with 4-inch roof ribs to handle high winds and heavy snow.

Sioux Steel offers the longest warranty on farm bins across the industry. Its 10-year warranty comes at no added cost and is standard with every farm bin. Sioux Steel bins are constructed with 70,000-pounds-per-square-inch tensile strength steel. Visit or call 800-557-4689.

Sukup: Aerate and store, or dry. Sukup offers bins from 15 to 48 feet in diameter for the farm, with commercial bins going up to sizes large enough to hold 2.25 million bushels. Farm bins are available either as unstiffened or stiffened bins, and as aeration and storage bins or as drying bins.

Sukup offers heavy-gauge drying bins from 18 to 48 feet in diameter, and either five or six rings tall. On-farm aeration and storage bins go up to 10 rings tall.

Bin walls are made of 44-inch-tall sidewall sheets with 4-inch-wide corrugation. Bolts used to assemble the bin are SAE Grade 8 with JS1000 coating for “exceptional” corrosion protection, spokespersons says. Patented 22-inch anchor brackets provide extra support for the plenum area.

All doors are designed with safety in mind. Doors feature the Hammerhead patented door latch for single-handed operation. Inside door panels open flat against the bin wall. Visit

Superior: Strength and integrity. Superior farm bins come in diameters from 15 to 54 feet, with stiffeners optional on bins up to 48 feet and standard on 48- and 54-foot bins. Top capacity on the largest farm bin is 108,313 bushels. Commercial Superior bins go up to 105 feet in diameter with maximum capacity of more than 817,000 bushels.

Farm bins feature roofs that can withstand snow loads of 40 pounds per square foot and winds up to 105 miles per hour. An 8,000-pound peak roof load is standard, with 15,000- and 30,000-pound peak roof loads offered as options.

The outer door on Superior bins latches at the top and bottom to keep rain and snow out, with the three inner doors opening 170 degrees for easy in-and-out movement.

Herculock interlocking floors prevent floor movement. Heavy-duty-rated floors are standard on 48- and 54-foot-diameter bins, and optional on 15- to 42-foot-diameter bins.

Bin sheets are made of galvanized, Grade 55 steel with a tensile strength up over 70,000 psi. JS500 Grade 8.2 bolts are standard on all bins. Spokespersons note that they’re rated as seven times more resistant than standard galvanized bolts. Visit   

Moving grain within system part of puzzle

Besides grain dryers and bins, several companies also make things like bucket elevators and specialized grain conveyors, which simplify grain transfer from bin to bin. Sometimes you need that right piece to the puzzle that allows you to get grain from Point A to Point B.

Here are just a few examples. Check the websites for other companies to determine what other options are available.

Brock GrainDrive tube conveyor. If you need more capacity and speed to get grain from one place to another compared to a standard auger, the GrainDrive tube conveyor might be your answer. It uses paddles on a continuous chain.

Why consider this option over a standard drag-line conveyor? Spokespersons point out that it should be cheaper and also can work efficiently on steeper inclines than a standard drag-line conveyor.

And if you’re using the GrainDrive to fill mini bins, like in a seed operation, you can easily configure intermediate inlet and discharge sections to meet your needs. Visit

GSI VersaLoop conveyor. The GSI VersaLoop round tube chain conveyor is another versatile tool capable of moving grain from one place to another where a standard auger may not be the right solution. Tubes are available in 8-, 10- and 12-inch diameters up to 325 feet long.

Paddles constructed of a polyethylene material attached on a continuous loop gently move grain up inclines as sharp as 60 degrees to reach taller bins. The drive end and non-drive end can be used in either an inlet or outlet configuration. Visit

Mathews Co. grain leg options. The Mathews Co. recently began offering grain handling equipment, including bucket elevators. They feature a vented head section at the very top. Because it’s vented, it reduces hazards related to dust buildup in grain handling systems.

The typical MC bucket elevator includes three external platforms for your safety:

  • distributor platform

  • optional distributor maintenance platform

  • head service platform at the top of the structure


What is AGI?

You may not yet be familiar with the AGI brand name, but you and your family have likely used one or more of their products for a long time.

AGI, short for Ag Growth International, was founded in 1996, and today operates on six continents across five business platforms — including grain equipment, seed, fertilizer, feed and food products.

AGI became a public-owned company in 2004, and in 2015 took a big leap when it purchased Westeel, a well-known name in the commercial grain bin industry. Beginning in 2016, AGI added multiple companies to its lineup.

As an analogy, think of Agco, the farm equipment manufacturer that built a strong brand by acquiring existing farm equipment companies beginning in the late 20th and continuing into the 21st century. Agco is also worldwide, operating major farm equipment brands in Europe and around the world.

AGI has a lineup of grain handling and grain equipment companies that should sound familiar. Brands in their stable include MFS, York, Stormor, Brownie, GTS, Hutchinson, Mayrath, Neco and Sentinel. The AGI grain bin line offered today descends from the MFS brand.

About the Author(s)

Tom J. Bechman

Midwest Crops Editor, Farm Progress

Tom J. Bechman became the Midwest Crops editor at Farm Progress in 2024 after serving as editor of Indiana Prairie Farmer for 23 years. He joined Farm Progress in 1981 as a field editor, first writing stories to help farmers adjust to a difficult harvest after a tough weather year. His goal today is the same — writing stories that help farmers adjust to a changing environment in a profitable manner.

Bechman knows about Indiana agriculture because he grew up on a small dairy farm and worked with young farmers as a vocational agriculture teacher and FFA advisor before joining Farm Progress. He works closely with Purdue University specialists, Indiana Farm Bureau and commodity groups to cover cutting-edge issues affecting farmers. He specializes in writing crop stories with a focus on obtaining the highest and most economical yields possible.

Tom and his wife, Carla, have four children: Allison, Ashley, Daniel and Kayla, plus eight grandchildren. They raise produce for the food pantry and house 4-H animals for the grandkids on their small acreage near Franklin, Ind.

Allison Lund

Indiana Prairie Farmer Senior Editor, Farm Progress

Allison Lund worked as a staff writer for Indiana Prairie Farmer before becoming editor in 2024. She graduated from Purdue University with a major in agricultural communications and a minor in crop science. She served as president of Purdue’s Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow chapter. In 2022, she received the American FFA Degree. 

Lund grew up on a cash grain farm in south-central Wisconsin, where the primary crops were corn, soybeans, wheat and alfalfa. Her family also raised chewing tobacco and Hereford cattle. She spent most of her time helping with the tobacco crop in the summer and raising Boer goats for FFA projects. She lives near Winamac, Ind.

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