Pros and Cons of Grain Storage Silos


There are a lot of decisions that factor into which grain storage solution you will select go ahead with. Climate, resources, timeframe and your specific commercial situation will factor into whether you choose to invest in a silo, or instead go for a bunker, storage shed or storage bag. This article will reveal a few of the pros and cons that come into the equation when you’re looking at investing in a grain storage silo, which can help you make a more informed decision.



Less ground space

Being significantly taller than other grain storage options, silos hold the same amount of grain in a much smaller area in terms of land. The land is obviously quite expensive so there is an added economic incentive here in terms of the savings you can make on ground space required. Even if you have space, using a silo can free it up for other purposes.

Greater control

Having your grain centralised in one location means you are able to control its conditions much more easily and effectively. Keeping your grain at a certain temperature and free of insects and pests can help you keep your grain in an optimal state over the long term. Aeration in a tightly sealed silo is a simple, straightforward process once the infrastructure is in place, and ensures that populations of pests are kept to a minimum.

Compare this to smaller storage bins that are spread out across a property, where controlling things like temperature and pests is a more intensive job.

Loading and depositing

For many of the same reasons as mentioned above, collecting and transporting grain to and from a silo is significantly cheaper and more efficient compared to the alternatives. With the help of a relatively cheap grain vacuum or auger, for example, grain can be both taken out of and put into the silo quite quickly. This can reduce owner and labour costs.


A well maintained, air-tight grain silo can last several decades or more, providing the ideal conditions for your grain through this period. When we’re talking about a structure of this size, it goes without saying that a stringent maintenance schedule is necessary to keep it trucking along for longer. But even before major repairs are required, some silos will last upwards of 25+ years.


Large initial investment

Like with high capacity machines and systems in just about any industry, there is a cost that comes with the benefits discussed above. While this is no doubt the most cost effective and economical means of storing and delivering large quantities of grain over a long timeframe, the short term investment is going to be high.

This makes silos appropriate for well-established grain farmers that have a long-term business plan going forward, rather than players that are feeling out the industry or still learning the ropes.

Better options for short term storage

If you’re planning on storing grain for a shorter time period, there are more efficient and cheaper ways to do so. Under certain circumstances, grain storage bags may be a better option, particularly if you’re storing the grain for less than 3 months. While there are certainly other weaknesses that come with this method, they are relatively inexpensive, quick to fill and require less infrastructure and capital investment.

Safety risks

Given their great height (some reach up to 80 meters or more), there are obvious safety risks that need to be considered. While you or your staff won’t often be required to climb so high, inspecting the silo every few months will require a view from the top. Precautions need to be made and many silos are quite safe to climb, but the risk is certainly still there and certain Worksafe requirements need to be met.

As discussed in the article, there are clear advantages that come from storing grain in a silo and all things considered this is the most ideal solution. Of course this depends on your specific circumstances, so always take the time to consider your options and chat with an expert to get the right advice.


How to Keep Up the Best Quality of Aggregated Grain?

For years, prices of different commodities and crops are fluctuating mostly in the earlier part of the year. Gathering the crop for a specific amount of time for getting the right price, can be a smart move. But often this tweak of getting the higher prices by gathering the crops can be failed due to the decreasing quality of stored grain day by day. You can maintain good quality by practising proper management norms.

Here are some tips to store your grain and at the same time keeping the perfect quality to get higher prices.

Try to Dry Grain Down to the Proper Moisture Level

Our recommendation is to dry the grain down to 13% if you are planning to store it for more than a year. Similarly, maintain 14% for less than a year and 15% for six months. You can presume that these limits are sort of optimum levels to acquire the perfect quality you are looking for after a storage period. Any disruption of those thresholds will notify that your grain storage solution lack some criteria for proper storage.

Implement Aeration Fans to Obtain Grain Temperature Below 50 Degrees Farenhite


Make sure you are maintaining your grain storage systems in such way where the insects, mildew and fungus can not access. On this process, gradually lower your grain temperature to 50 degrees to 30 degrees Farenhite as soon as possible. In several types of research, it has been proven that most of the insects can not survive below this optimum temperature. Use aeration fans to obtain this optimum temperature.

Maintain A Low Temperature Within the Grain Silos

grain ring advantec three

You should maintain a lower temperature within the grain silos in order to obtain the ultimate quality of the grain eventually. In summer, it is expected to have a boom in temperature in every possible circumstance. But your objective should maintain the temperatures to make the insects dormant.

Review the Grain Regularly

Most grain storage solutions experts suggest that you must check the grain once a week in warmer seasons to get rid of obligations you have about your grain storage.

If you are up to the task of storing the grain for the better price, you can follow these steps at your convenience. You should adopt the storing tactics before your grain goes out of condition as far quality of grain concerns. It is always better to take proper measures before it’s too late.

Different Types of Grain Silos Used Around the World

grain storage, grain silos,

Grain Storage System

Grain storage system on agricultural farms is used to minimise the loss of grain by storing it safely and properly. Due to the lack of proper management of grain in a modern storage system can cause 20% – 100% grain loss which may cause unstable food supply. There are many storage methods available but among them, grain silos are the most popular. The reasons behind grain silos popularity are affordable price and easy maintenance. The most appealing reason is the rich history of grain silos. Grain silos were first used by the ancient Greeks in the ancient world. This method has been accepted by the whole world for its easy maintenance and portability. This specific grain storage method has been developed throughout the century and many modern grain silos came out. The modernisation of grain silos would reach at its peak because of the continuing development of technology.

Grain silos are now being used worldwide. And there are different types of grain silos in the different regions. Grain silos could be made by metal, cement or steel. And the types defer from country to country due to the economic status and weather pattern.

Followings are some popular grain silos used in different regions and countries:

Metal Silos

grain silos, grain storage solution, metal silos

Metal Silos

Metal silos are made by galvanised metal with a flat metal top and usually a flat metal bottom with cylindrical in shape. A manhole with a cover is located to one side, usually in the top panel and an outlet pipe with a padlock is provided at the base of the wall. Metal silos are used to store large quantities of grains, over 25 tonnes. Small silos with the capacity of 1 to 10 tonnes are also available. It has been reported that metal silos are used in Guatemala for over 50 years. This types of grain silos are mostly used in the developing countries like Swaziland, Bolivia and India. Large capacity metal silos are placed on a concrete platform without the base plate. Providing a cover is essential to avoid unreasonable variation of temperature and moisture.

Tower Silos

tower silos, grain silos, grain storage,

Image Courtesy: DMahalko

Tower silos are cylindrical shape structure and invented by Franklin Hiram King. The height of the silo is 10 to 90 meter and diameter 3 to 27 meter. Tower silos can be made of wood staves, cast concrete and steel panels. The constructing costs and durability can vary due to the materials used to make the silos. The capacity of these types of grain silos can be very large, it depends on the farm size. Tower silos are mostly used in Australia, Canada and the USA. The advantages of tower silos are high capacity, long durability and less damage on grains. Some silos have the feature of keeping grains in low –oxygen atmosphere which prevents decay and mould of fermented contents and also, keep the grains in high quality.

Synthetic Silos and USAID Silos, Nigeria

1. Synthetic Silos

grain silos, grain storage


Using synthetic material it is possible to develop a small scale storage bins. Some countries use this types of grain silos. The materials that are used to make synthetic silos are Butyl Rubber and high-density polyethylene. This types of grain silos are too expensive and prone to damage by pets.

2. The USAID Silos

grain silos, grain storage


This silo placed on concrete pillars or stone supporting a concrete slab one and half meters in diameter. The silo is made by earth bricks and plastered inside with chicken wire mesh. The roof of the silo is dome shaped. The capacity of this silo is typically one tonne.

Schapfen Mill Tower, Germany

grain silos,

Image Courtesy:

The Schapfen Mill Tower is located in Ulm, Germany. The silo tower was built in 2005. The height of the tower is 115 meters. Since the demolition of Henninger Turm in 2013, it has become the tallest grain storage silo in the world.

The Burkino Silos, Africa

grain silos, grain storage solutions, grain handling

Image Courtesy: Innovate Development

This type of grain silos is made by earth bricks in a domed shaped. Capacity and models can vary from farm to farm. The base is made of stabilised earth and roof is made of earth bricks. The dome-shaped roof technique is not easy to master and constructed using a special wooden frame. Constructing this type of silos requires skilled worker. The Burkino silos are mostly used in the African countries.

The Dichter Stave Silo, Benin

Grain Silo-Popular Grain Storage Solution in Australia, grain silos

This type of silos are cylindrical shaped and developed in Benin, Africa. It is constructed with concrete blocks supported by steel wire. The outer and inner walls are smoothened by cement. There is a manhole in the cover slab and an anti-theft outlet in the bottom.

The Ferrocement Bin, Cameroon

grain silos, grain storage solutions

Image- wikihow

The silo was first developed in Cameroon and used by some of the African countries. The capacity of this type of silos is 10 – 15 tonnes. This silos is similar to the Burkino silos and also made by earth bricks.

It seems that grain silos have been used for thousands of years to store grains. It is a popular method of storing grains without damaging the quality. Farmers should research and study while choosing grain silos. They should select silos according to their farm size and weather patterns of that region. Grain silos with advanced technology can increase farming efficiency and keep grains in high quality so that farmers can get the best from their crops. Using this kind of advanced technology in agriculture will shape the future of agricultural industries. Always make sure to talk with experts before choosing grain storage equipment that suits for your particular grains.

grain silos, grain storage solutions

Popular Grain Storage Solutions in Australia

Australia’s grain industry is quite dissimilar than other countries in the world. Despite being relatively small on the world scale in terms of production, the large majority of the grains we produce are exported, with a small quantity being sold and consumed in the county. Players in the grain industry are usually family operations that continue for generations, rather than large corporations with a great deal of capital behind them controlling the industry. Add that to the fact that Australia has a notorious harsh climate in certain parts and you can see why grain storage a challenging and potentially quite costly endeavour. This article will go into a few of the most widely used grain storage solutions in Australia and why they are effective.

Grain Silos

Grain Silo-Popular Grain Storage Solution in Australia

Grain Silo- Popular Grain Storage Solution

The most popular grain storage structures are modern grain silos, which can come in a variety of shapes and sizes depending on the grain it is being used to store, the location and climate and other practical details. Many silos are constructed offsite and relocated to farms, though those that exceed 140 tonnes capacity are usually built on the site.

While they are usually the most costly grain storage solution to set up, a quality, well-maintained silo can have a lifespan of 20 or more years. While there are better and more cost-effective options for short-term storage, sealed silos offer perhaps the best protection from pests, as aeration cooling helps to regulate moisture in the silo and keep it at less than ideal levels for insects. Provided the silo is sealed and gas-tight, there are also a number of fumigation options available to kill off any insect life in the silo.

In fact, the benefits of a fully-sealed silo are considerable to the point that farmers will often invest in retro sealing for older silos, which is a costly and intensive process. Further, a retro-sealed silo can cost a lot in terms of regular maintenance. However, the price is often lower than a new silo.

Bunkers and Sheds

Grain Storage Sheds to Keep Your Grain Safe

Grain Storage Shed

The main advantage of storing grain in bunkers or sheds comes from the fact that they allow for easy unloading and packing and can be used to store other materials as well. This makes them the ideal short-term storage solution for bulk handling companies, where grain is coming in and going out within a relatively short amount of time. However, they are generally not recommended on farms due to the fact that there are usually more convenient and cost-effective short-term storage solutions. One drawback is the fact that generally building a grain storage bunkers is a costly undertaking that requires ample planning and preparation, and once it is set up trucks and other machinery can be required to deposit and take grain from the bin. Sheds, of the cause, can be more convenient on farms however like bunkers, they are generally open and cannot be fumigated, meaning they tend to have problems with insects and pests. This means that  on farms, they can be effective for harvest logistics, when combined with another long-term storage options, like a silo.

Grain Storage Bags

Grain Storage Bags- Temporary Grain Storage Solution

Grain Storage Bags

Becoming increasingly popular in Australia over the past decade, storage bags are now often the preferred short term storage option (a period of 3 months or less). The quality of bags can differ, and there is a clear difference between grain storage bags and silage bags; mistaking the two can result in considerable losses. But when managed correctly and stored in a location with ideal conditions, storage bags – which can store upwards of 200 tonnes worth of grain – are convenient and effective.

While they may sound like a cheap option – and indeed it is usually more cost effective than the alternatives – grain storage bags require a reasonable investment in their own right. As well as the cost of the bags themselves, the equipment used to pack and unpack storage bags can cost tens of thousands of dollars.

Where the bags are stored can be a large determining factor as well. There are instances in which mice and/or birds can cause problems, so storing bags in a clear, vegetation-free and protected area is of up-most importance. Ideally, the surface will be well drained and provide easy access for trucks and large machinery.

There are pros and cons of every grain storing option and each requires careful and ongoing maintenance in order to be effective. For more information about grain storage solutions and other tools that can improve cost effectiveness and efficiency, contact the team at Advantec.