Craig Fisher, Richardton, N.D., and John Anderson, Clifford, N.D., have learned a trick or two about using grain bags. Both use grain bags extensively. Their top tips for bagging grain successfully include:
If you plan to buy a bagger, visit a farm and see how they work. Fisher says Loftness – one of several grain manufacturers -- provides videos showing how to set the equipment and attach the bags to the loader. But seeing and doing it are two different things. Fisher says when he first started using bags he wrestled with the bags the first several days trying mount them on the loader.
Pick good sites to place bags. There's a lot to consider. Loftness recommends a well-drained level area that you can get to in winter and isn't too muddy in the spring. You'll want to be able to get tractors, the unloader and semis into the site to unload the bags. You'll also want to be out of areas where deer and antelope frequent. Anderson says he likes to place bags near roads for that reason. You'll also want to consider how far the grain cart has to travel to get to the bags. Spots in the middle of a field work best.
Lay out the bags in a north-south direction so that the sun doesn't shine only on one side of the bag.
Scatter urea on the ground where you are going to place the bag to keep mice out from underneath the bag. If a mouse make a hole in the bottom of the bag, it will immediately die because there's little oxygen in the bag, but some of the grain will dribble out of the holes in the bottom when bags is being unloaded.
Check bags weekly after they are filled for holes and tears in the plastic. Repair them with tape provided by the manufacturer.
Place a 4 x 4 inch piece of lumber under the front of the bag, about 5 to 10 feet from the end of the bag. It will prevent any water than may get through the end of the bag from flowing down the length of the bag and spoiling grain.Read more in the July issue of Dakota Farmer.