A Year in Review: 2021

Oversize truck carrying silos and a ute pulled over on one side of a road with the other side showing a gate with a brown Cobar sign.

Many of us have mixed feelings about 2021 and regardless, it certainly won’t be a year forgotten any time soon. COVID-19 continued to wreak havoc across the globe, still putting a stopper in international and interstate travel.

Many parts of the state suffered early at the hands of the mice plague, which continues to cause mayhem for some. Some lost hundreds of thousands worth of machinery, grain, and feed.

Then came the floods. Around the Forbes area, some have reported up to 400 hectares lost to the waters. Even further north, floods have ravaged the industry. Not only does flooding cause direct crop losses, but many have also been unable to access their lands when needed, some have seen their grains germinate prior to harvest and logistics have been a nightmare with road closures and extensive water damage.

Projections Going Forward

2022 is expected to have a very wet start, as a result of the unfolding La Nina weather pattern. This shows a lot of promise for next year’s crops, with unprecedented pre-orders for canola seed, a reflection of the growing conditions and brilliant market value. Many suppliers have been forced to turn down customers as they simply can’t meet the demand.

Fertiliser is anticipated to increase further in price. Global nitrogen shortages have created a fierce market at current, which probably wont settle until late 2023-2024. Glyphosate chemicals (such as Roundup) are the latest to surge in price and many places have seen up to a 300% increase per litre.

These price hikes also prompt concerns of people using knockoff products. Sometimes, knockoffs are worth it. But using products which may not be as effective does pose risk to crops and the environment. Similarly to stored grain pests, less than ‘lethal’ doses build resistance, with the potential to ruin efficacy of products as a whole.

Thankfully, with the return of international travel, labour shortages should begin to ease in 2022. Working visa applications have skyrocketed over the last quarter of 2021, with many people eager to get out and see the world post-COVID.

Going into the new year, while many people plan their future crop, there are big concerns about the input prices. Many are choosing to forgo certain chemicals due to the uncertainty of having a crop successful enough to justify spending triple what they regularly would on singular products.

Factory Expansion

July saw the opening of HE Silos Forbes’ brand new workshop. Located only 15 minutes from our main factory, this new site will allow us to grow as a business, accommodating more builds as well as giving us the space to conduct further research. The demand for Bulk Storage was one of the biggest reasons for opening the new site, with huge industry growth nationwide.

Excitedly, the expansion allowed for an additional two departments within the HE Silos team, one being our Bulk Storage Production team, the other being our Onsite Construction team. With more and more onsite projects in our books, we are constantly looking to upskill our employees and bring more people to the team. 

Matt H, Eric W, Jason W, Steven M, Rick C, Karen J and John C

Employee Growth & Achievements

While 2021 may have been a strange year in the way of learning and development, it sure didn’t stop the HE Silos team hitting goals. We are always striving to up skill our employees, making our workshop safer and increasing productivity.

  • It was a big year for our Sales Manager, Karen. Currently, Karen is completing a Certificate III in Logistics and Warehousing. This course will aid in developing her problem solving and organisational skills. While she already plays huge role in our logistics department, this course will further develop her understanding of transport legislation, complex route planning and warehousing. Karen was also lucky enough to go on an agent tour around the region; visiting clients, improving relationships, and getting to firsthand assess the conditions for our farming communities.
  • Gabi Sands, our Human Resources and Marketing Coordinator, attended a social media and digital marketing workshop in Forbes, hosted by Rich Evans in partnership with RDA Central West. The workshop presented the key information and tools needed to build the business, better tell the business’ story and reach the desired audience. In the modern day of advancing technology, these skills are vital in business growth.
  • A few team members were lucky enough to attend the Riverina Field Day, one of the few events that were able to go ahead this year. This gave the team a good opportunity to talk to some of the growers in the Riverina Region, as well as catch up with some of our long time Hillston area customers.
  • Jason Wilson celebrated 20 years with HE Silos, an amazing achievement. Several employees reached 5 years with HE Silos this year: Rick C, John C, Matt H, Karen J and Eric W.
  • Stevie Morrison (Office Manager) and Gabi Sands had a great time shooting some new company videos with the team from The Studio Door. With the help of some of our loyal customers, the videos delve further into what HE Silos is all about and the values and priorities of the business. The team also worked on a video with a focus on silo safety, one of the core priorities for HE Silos. To check out the videos, or have a look at what some of our customers have to say, go to  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UClO3bEbcL48-0T5JiCogvRg
  • This year, one of our long-time employees, Greg Cook (Cookie) retired. Cookie had been working with HE Silos since 2010 in our Logistics department as one of our truck drivers, so there is a fair chance you would recognise him. We wish him all the best in retirement and safe travels with his wife Christine and their caravan.
  • We were lucky enough to welcome a variety of new team members across the departments. Taylor Hutson has joined our team in the reception role, she has been a quick learner in our fast paced industry and is great to have around the workplace.
Stevie Morrison working on new videos with David Smyth

What are HE Silos up to in 2022?

With life slowly getting back to a new ‘normal’, the HE Silos team are excited for growth and bring on what they hope will be another promising year in our industry.

The team are eager to get back to face-to-face with the return of events such as:

  • The Forbes NSW Rural Women’s Gathering is set for early April. The event has been postponed for the previous two years due to COVID, so this should be a big one for the local community of Forbes.
  • Agribusiness Today Forum in early August. The theme for next year is ‘Mixed Farming Enterprises – Adapting to a Changing Climate’. HE Silos is a major sponsor for the event and will be presenting on the topic above.
  • Australian Bulk Handling Expo (BULK2022) will be held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre in late August.
  • Henty Machinery Field Days are set to commence on September 20th
  • The Australian National Field Days are in Borenore NSW in October

And SO many more events to be confirmed: NSW Farmers, AGIC, Australian Grain Trade Conference.

The team are excited to bring many more silos across New South Wales and the wider Australia.

The team is expected to continue growing as HE Silos Forbes is expecting the arrival of the 4th generation early January. We wish Stevie-Leigh and partner Patrick all the best on their new arrival.

2022 will certainly keep our team very busy!