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Storage systems are an integral part of any farm operation; here’s five key steps to an annual bin inspection.

April 1, 2024

2 Min Read
Adding value through safe storage assessments
Submitted by AGI

The farm’s grain storage system has a story to tell.  A full bin represents a successful crop and countless man-hours spent in the field from planting to harvest.

Storage systems are an integral part of any farm operation, but they can tell a vastly different story --- one of fatigue and age or one of efficiency, safety and profitability.

That is why regular maintenance and an annual inspection matter.

Shifting strategies, markets and goals help determine how an operation should evolve for future success. From expanding storage capacity with additional bins to upgrading equipment through monitoring systems, proper planning can ensure a smooth transition into the next phase of your operation.

According to Joel Pierson, Senior Sales Director for AGI Digital, part of that planning process should include a safe storage assessment to evaluate how well storage and aeration capabilities are keeping up with revenue targets.  “It begins with a conversation and a visit to the farm to learn more about a grower’s operation -- successes, challenges and goals. From there we take a comprehensive look at the bins, fans, vents, and any other equipment to make sure that the farmer is set up for success to hit their goals.”   

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5 tips for storage

Pierson recommends five key steps to a good bin inspection:   

  1. Inspect airflow. This includes a full review of fans, vents and bin specifications while taking into account grain conditioning goals.

  2. Conduct aeration modeling. Understanding the farm’s geographic and climate patterns and review bin specifications to confirm capabilities and limitations.  

  3. Review guidelines. Know the safe storage practices for the farm’s commodities and the conditions of the operating area.

  4. Optimize the best storage practices. See how best practices can increase the value, quality and profit potential of stored commodities.

  5. Set storage goals. Create a clear road map to increase efficiency or improve conditioning targets.  

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What farmers say

Safe storage assessments add value to the farm’s overall grain plans.  

“We’ve had great success with AGI’s safe storage assessments,” says Pierson. “Over the years, grain operations change. For instance, bin fans get updated or replaced, but they don't necessarily match the goals anymore. We provide a fresh look at the operation of the bin site(s) free of charge to make sure farmers are still set up to hit their targets.”  

As farmers plan for the year ahead, Pierson recommends knowing the facts behind “what story” the bin system tells.

“It is a good idea to evaluate where an operation is and where it is headed,” he says. “Part of that evaluation should include a safe storage assessment to ensure the operation is telling a story of efficiency, safety and profitability.”

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