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.


The Importance of Grain Storage Safety

Grain Storage and Handling in Victoria, Australia

Like many other agricultural industries that rely on heavy farm machinery, maintaining a good level of safety throughout the working day is best practice at all times. Safe grain storage and handling conditions should be met at all times, and throughout the process there are a few important steps to take to ensure no accidents occur on your site.

Maintaining your grain in good condition is a great way to avoid any issues as badly maintained grain can cause flowing grain, leading to a number of possible accidents including entrapment. Grain entrapments mostly occur when a worker has entered the grain storage bin to break apart crusty of mouldy grain, causing the worker to be trapped by a grain flow.

Avoiding Grain Entrapment

Grain entrapment can be easily avoided with good grain management and upkeep, and is better avoided through the use of a number of grain storage products manufactured to avoid grain mould and crust. Advantec produces a number of grain aerators that allow moisture from the bottom of the grain bin to escape through the top of the bin, leaving no moisture or dampness, allowing minimal risk of crop mould or crust.

You should only enter a bin unless it is absolutely necessary, and instruct all workers and family of the dangers of grain bins and their hazards. Usually, you should see a funnel shape on the surface of the bin which is an indicator of good grain flow. If the surface of the grain is level, then there may be a necessity to break up the grain to resume flow.

Only break up grain from outside the bin using a large pole, and keep working at it from the outside until the grain is at a safe level before you enter to continue your work.

Grain Storage Safety, Grain Handling Safety

Turn Off Your Machinery

Ensure that all grain augers and other machinery are turned off before you enter the grain bin, as any flowing grain will have the power to pull you under the grain. Ensure that you are using the proper, high quality personal protective equipment before you enter the grain bin, and always make sure that workers are supplied with the correct equipment and working knowledge of the gear before they even step in a grain bin.

On larger bins, using a body harness and safety line anchored outside the bin is necessary if prolonged work inside a bin is required. Always have someone else who is well practiced in grain storage bin safety on the outside of the bin, and maintain contact with them so both parties know what is taking place.

Many grain storage safety tips are common sense, but when put into practice can make a big difference is an accident occurs. Use the right tools for grain storage systems, use personal protection equipment and always have someone outside of the grain bin to help you out if there is an incident.

The Benefits of Permanent Raised Bed Farming

Those in the agricultural industry have started to see the advantages of permanent raised bedding farming, with significant research and development going into this practice. While it’s been practiced for centuries in many parts of the world, with Sustainable Agricultural Machinery Developments (or SAM) this method is now becoming commercialised. As far back as 1990, this system actually won the prestigious ‘Australian Invention of the Year’.  Let’s take a look at some of the advantages of such a system.

What are Permanent Raised Bed?

Conventional farming of vegetables is generally achieved via temporary bedding, which is created at the beginning of every season.

The other option for farming with raised beds in an urban environment, which is often considered preferable (depending on various factors) is to build permanently raised beds, which can be structured in a variety of ways.

Permanent raised bedding has been widely used for centuries in certain parts of the world where the rainy season is heavy and short, where excessive water can cause flooding and be harmful.

Indonesia, for example, historically experiences what can be described as a monsoon – where rainfall is intense for a short period of time every year. Under these conditions, permanent raised bedding offers water a means of draining the area more quickly, as gravity pulls the water off the bed. In some areas, crops are sewn in valleys and hills for the same purpose.

Beds in Cunderdin_1

Why are permanent raised bedding preferable?

In addition to providing a sound means of drainage by being on higher ground, permanent raised beds can be built with different kinds of soil that contribute to this further. Clay soil, for example, drains at a much quicker rate than conventional soil, meaning planting can be organised sooner in the wet season.

The soil also stays warmer, giving the farmer more flexibility with when the crops come to fruition. In addition, no preseason is required to ensure the land is ready for certain crops, so farmers have greater ability to change things up with the types of crops harvested. The soil quality also encourages certain beneficial organisms to remain here, including earthworms.

Overall, permanent raised beds are potentially more expensive to run and maintain, but they can make the farm much more efficient if coordinated properly.

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How does SAM’s Permanent Raised Bed Management System work?

SAM essentially provides the farming machinery and know-how needed to create and maintain such a system in such a way that provides a strong return on investment. There are two designs which work for any soil type, crop or farming scale. What is important is that it isn’t simply about building the beds – maintenance is a big part of the operation.

Put briefly, the process is about ploughing the field and creating the beds using what is called the Bedformer. Planting, weeding and various other crop management requirements are taken care of by the Bedlocker, which can be used for any crop. Weeding is also an important process here and SAM offers machinery to assist in this, reducing labour and time costs.

Lastly, once crops have reaped a yield, the SAM Bed Renovator is used to prepare the beds for the next crop cycle.

For more information about this process, we’d highly recommend taking a look at the Advantec website, which goes into greater detail about how amazingly this Permanent Raised Bed Management System works.

If not, feel free to contact us directly and speak to one of our efficient team members!


photo courtesy : https://www.agric.wa.gov.au

Trailer Towing Tips Everyone Should Know

Towing a trailer is not something we all do regularly and it can actually be quite dangerous if you don’t take the proper safety precautions. Even people experienced in towing need to be careful from the moment they load up the trailer to when it is safely unlatched at its destination. Things can and do go wrong for people every step of the way from attaching the trailer to operating your vehicle on the road. Let’s take a look at the main things you need to be aware of when dealing with trailer tow hitch:

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Get The Right Trailer Tow Hitch

It’s not uncommon for people to load a trailer that simply isn’t built for their needs. You’d think that a trailer can usually handle what can be physically loaded onto it, but this simply isn’t the case. Always check the trailer’s maximum load capacity and if you have any doubts don’t take the risk.

Legality also comes into the equation here. There’s a reason larger trailers need to be registered – if they aren’t in a proper working order they can pose a real risk to you and the drivers around you once you’re out on the road. Whether you’re hiring it or own it, make sure the registration is up to date.

Sway, which can be caused due to a number of factors, is one of the main problems you need to avoid if you´re going to be safe on the road. If you have a heavy loaded trailer, it might be worth getting an AirSafe trailer tow hitch to ensure your safety and reduce that sway factor.

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Load Your Trailer The Right Way

This is common sense but can be overlooked quite often. If your load is made up of various items, make sure the heaviest things are placed in the middle of the trailer side by side to ensure the weight distribution is ideal. Depending on the type of trailer you are using, you may need to tie the items down. Also, consider using a tarp if the weather is rainy to protect your belongings.

Drive safely

Accidents that involve trailers often come about due to emergency stops and driving too fast, both of which can cause the trailer to sway and potentially make the vehicle difficult to control. There are a lot of ways you can reduce the risk of the sway factor, some of which we’ve already discussed. But responsible driving is arguably the most important.

Be sure to take it slow around corners, on freeways, and allowing more space between you and the car in front. Carrying a load behind you will reduce the effectiveness of your braking system, despite the fact that some trailers have brakes as well. In fact, your vehicle is likely to handle very differently to what you’re used to, so if you’re aren’t experienced in this drive slowly first to get a feel for it.


Tips For Safe Trailer Towing Trips

Ultimately, common sense and patience can go a long way to keeping safe towing a trailer on the roads. One small mistake can be very costly so be sure to take the time to prepare your load and know the risks prior to hitting the road.

So engaging one capable and effective tow hitch to ensure the trailer’s safety is recommended and for that, it would be prudent to take resort to the most renowned and popular AirSafe Hitch technology, which is made available to the local community by Advantec Australasia Pty Ltd.

Pros and Cons of Grain Ring Usage as Temporary Storage

A great yield of crops always brings euphoria in the heart and smile of satisfaction in the face of a farm owner. But in some occasions of auspiciousness, the expectation of a farm owner is outpaced or literally outgrown by the crop production. Then this boon of extra yield brings some pensive frowns in the farm owner’s forehead as he gets concerned for that extra amount of grain handling and storage on a temporary basis.

In these moments of such crisis, there come grain storage rings as the perfect solution as being a temporary grain storage system which can hold grains for a limited life span.

Grain Ring Advantec 01

Source: Meridian

Of all the available temporary storage options on the market, galvanized Grain Storage Rings are such intermediate storage option which has the lowest cost per bushel. Grain storage rings can contain a large volume of the crop as these rings have a self-supporting design.

During years with bumper-crop production, grain storage rings are established as intermediate grain storage solution and this practice helps farm owners solve the dilemma of storing and handling redundantly produced crops which are more than the grain storage allowance or capacity. For modern farm operational needs, it is sometimes required to store grains outdoors on a temporary basis but in a safe way. This purpose can be served by grain storage rings.

Types of Grain Storage Rings

Grain storage rings come in two types – one is very basic, the wood rings and another is the more prevalent and useful one, steel grain rings. Both types of the grain storage rings are functional and convenient for short-term grain storage, but as both have some limitations as well it is recommended to not use those for longer periods of time.

Grain Ring Advantec yellow

Steel grain rings are a bit pricey to set-up and maintain but serve with better durability comparatively. On the other hand, wooden grain storage rings are less heavy on the wallet but come with a shorter lifespan than that of steel grain rings.

Grain Rings Benefits

  • During excess crop production period, Readily Available
  • Requires minimal investment
  • Portability or Movability (Grain Rings can be transferred from one place of choice to another location of convenience)
  • Easier set-up or disbanding procedures
  • Reusable and usable for many times
  • Compact and can be stacked, when not in use

Limitations with Grain Rings

  • No added feature for heat management (aeration) or moisturization
  • Waste-prone as comes with collateral grain and materials waste
  • Risk of Damage from pestilence, wildlife, moisture and external contamination
  • Difficulty in loading and unloading crops
  • Limited Storage Period

Dealing with Grain Rings Limitations

It is evident that pest, wildlife and moisture damage are the major concerns while using grain storage rings for a temporary storage system.

grain ring advantec bagged

By using a tarp over the storage ring to keep the grain well-contained within, the grain quality can also be ensured and retained. Grain remains intact much better in quality than piling the grain mound in open space. To keep the rings and tarps in good condition they need to be dismantled and stored when not in use. If using steel rings, the tarps need to be replaced well before the ring wears out.

grain ring vac advantec

And to deal with the limitation of heat management (aeration) or moisturization in grain storage ring, Aeration holes and in-load out-load ports can be installed into the ring.

Each of the cultivating and crop growing seasons is different in attributes. So it becomes difficult for farmers to anticipate or predict the exact amount of crop yield and the appropriate size of storage needed for the smoother hassle free farm operation. On the other hand, grain handling and storage facilities require deliberate investment in and thorough consideration of storage capacity needs.

grain ring advantec three

So the next time the grain silos are totally full, farm owners don’t have to compromise with enjoying a record amount of crop yield as there are grain storage rings to help them out. Advantec is ever-present at the service of Australian farmers and takes pride in helping Australian farmers to reach their fullest potential.


Advanced Grain Storage Systems and Their Benefits

With a record amount of crop yields in recent years, there has been a huge increase in investing in on-farm grain solutions. New technologies have helped improve grain storage for both long and short term use, and with a number of companies offering modular grain storage systems, the list of options for grain storage solutions is as varied as the technology used to store your grain.

One of the newer technologies has helped pave the way for flat storage grain buildings that use the latest in grain pump and aeration technology to make them low cost and simple to use. Usually made from a solid concrete floor and wall base, the structure is kept in shape with a solid steel framework and many companies now offer armour plated fabric panels for the roofing that are water-tight and are built to stay strong even at maximum capacity.

Flat Storage Solutions

Grain storage is made easier with a flat storage system compared to a vertical silo system. Grain trucks can be simply hooked up to the grain pump on the outside of the storage bin and with the latest grain pumps, able to relocate the grain to a number of piles within the long storage building using a series of auger type tubes that run along the roof of the structure.


Image Credit : span-techbuildings.com

Grain can be easily deposited into the storage structure, ready for further transportation once the flat grain storage structure has been fully loaded. With two way pumps to transfer the grain to the delivery vehicle, it makes life easier in more than one way. Flat storage grain stores need a great aeration system to keep the crop in good condition, and with some of the latest sturdy fabric covers and bays that also include UV protection, your grain will reach distributors in the best possible health and condition.


Modular Grain Storage Structures

When it comes to temporary grain storage solutions, modular storage has been the hot topic in modern grain farming. One of the best solutions combines a concrete or tarmac ground base and uses steel barricade style panels to create a ring on the ground. The panels are secured in place via bolts into the concrete and then strengthened with more steel panels to fill in the gaps. A central aeration system is then put into place to cover the whole area of the temporary grain storage system.


An extra aeration fan pipe is then set into place and the grain can then be dropped into the temporary storage structure via an auger. Cover is provided by the super strong tarp that is stretched over the grain and secured each side to water-proof your crop. These modular solutions are a great addition to any grain farm, and allow a number of different configurations to house limited or bumper yields of extra crop in a pinch.

Modular grain storage is the perfect addition to your storage solutions because it allows you to create a storage space for your precise amount of crop. Need a larger storage bin? No problem, just use additional wall panels to create a larger space to protect your grain in all different weather scenarios.

Future Technologies for Grain Storage

The future looks bright for the agricultural world when it comes to creating new means of grain storage technologies that help to maximise the quality of the grain and allows storage for even larger amounts. Grain aeration is one of the widely-discussed talking points in recent years when it comes to avoiding crop loss and damage, as there have been a number of advancements in the technology used to keep the grain dry and moisture-free.

It is thought that new inventions grain storage systems will become more beneficial to farmers as the efficiency savings that are made with on-farm grain storage is set to rise. Now more farmers than ever are looking to on-farm grain storage solutions, and as the costs come down and the ease of use gets much simpler, modular grain storage units and advanced aerated grain storage systems with bins will become the norm on farms up and down the country.

Add the additional agricultural technologies such as advanced survey drones that are able to gather much more information than it was available previously, and you will find that there has never been a better time to boost productivity and to minimise the loss.