The Benefits of Storing On-farm

Welcome back to the blog! Sowing is just around the corner, and before we know it, we will be ramping up for yet another harvest. Let’s hope it’s a record breaker. It goes without saying, that planning ahead is the ultimate key to success. As the phrase goes; “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail”. Planning your future Grain Storage is vital. Whether you choose to store On-farm or through Bulk Handling Companies, Storage needs to be accounted for in the earlier months of the year, to avoid the last-minute panic that can occur when the season exceeds our expectations. Why not opt for an investment that will not only provide you with Storage for this upcoming season, but for years to come?

On-farm Storage is a game changer in Australian Agriculture, and it is not at all difficult to see why. For many years, Bulk handling companies have stored and distributed grain for producers Australia wide. And whilst they have their purpose, the need for their services is declining. For smaller scale producers, utilising these companies can be a seemingly effective means to an end; the financial outlay may be less significant, and the product hand over convenient. But in contrast to the multitude of advantages associated with On-farm Storage, they simply do not compare.

Think of On-farm storage as an investment, one that if maintained correctly has the ability to provide a substantial return for years to come. By eliminating the ‘middleman’ that is Bulk Handling, the costs associated with Post Harvest Logistics and Freight are diminished, not only increasing profitability for the producer, but freeing up valuable time – time that could be spent exploring the current market trends. When product is stored On-farm, opportunity for market flexibility is revealed. Grain prices are everchanging, continuously rising and falling. The ability to control when, where, and who your grain is sold to is lucrative, and is often not achievable through the Bulk Handling companies.

In any farming enterprise, planning ahead is imperative, which is another reason as to why On-farm storage is such a worthwhile investment. Whether segregating your storage, or storing in bulk, having the capacity to prepare for a dry spell is game changing. We have seen large amounts of rain in many parts of Australia over these past few months. But this does not remove the possibility of another drought from occurring in the next few years. By investing in On-farm storage, farmers can ensure they have enough feed for stock or seed on hand to carry them through.

Segregation

A common method of storing On-farm is to Segregate through the use of multiple smaller transportable Silos. By doing so, producers are able to manage and handle a variety of different grains and fertilizers at any time. Mixed farming enterprises especially benefit from segregation, as they gain the potential to tap into multiple markets. This enables producers to gain income security. Say for example, the price of Oats has dropped significantly, but the price of Barley is at a record-breaking high… A mixed enterprise farmer, with segregated On-farm storage, will have the flexibility to hold on to their Oats in hopes for a market increase, whilst at the same time selling their stored Barley for a substantial profit.

Bulk Storage

By investing in On-farm Bulk Storage, producers equip themselves with a potential storage capacity of up to 20,000 Tonnes. For broad acre enterprises, Bulk Storage can be incredibly advantageous. The ability to store large volumes of product in a single storage capacity, allows producers to optimise their time management through ease of loading and unloading. Not to mention the financial gain that accompanies the reduction in freight and logistics.

Another considerable benefit to On-farm storage, is the ability for producers to monitor their grain on a year-round basis. Consistent maintenance of stored grain is essential in the prevention of grain loss or spoilage and can be the difference between a profitable season and a costly one. By investing in a Gas-tight-sealed Silo, modern technologies such as Aeration cooling and drying units, and Fumigation Systems can be implemented.

Grain Storage Technology

As a rule, grain storage temperature is optimum at 23°C, to inhibit moisture from accumulating. Aeration units, whether designed for cooling or drying, serve four primary purposes; to lower temperatures, reduce moisture, prevent mould and spoilage, and maintain grain quality. When retained under warm and moist storage conditions, fungi can produce poisonous mycotoxins – metabolites capable of causing disease and death in animals. Fumigation chambers, such as HE Silos TICS (Thermal Insect Control System) work to maintain optimal levels of phosphine to mitigate the risk of insect activity. If insects are allowed to breed, they are capable of causing exponential damage to stored grain in as little as three weeks. The financial burden attached to these circumstances is huge, but with On-farm storage and the utilisation of these modern technologies, prevention is achievable.

A quick recap…

  • Provides opportunity for significant return on investment
  • Increased profitability
  • Reduction in Post-harvest logistics and freight costs
  • Market control and income flexibility
  • Accessibility to year-round stockfeed
  • Mitigation against the risk of drought
  • Ability to segregate and/or store in bulk
  • Regular monitoring of stored product
  • Aeration/Fumigation to obtain optimal conditions

So, is investing in On-farm storage economically viable? Absolutely. In fact, it could very well be the most rewarding and impactful business investment a producer will make. Australian Farming is evolving, and Bulk Handling companies are becoming far less sought after. The future is in On-farm Storage.

Until next time, Steve The Silogist.