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Discussion Starter #1
Looking for some good cost estimates for putting up some bins. We currently have no storage and am considering putting up some bins to help speed us up at harvest time. Would the convenience and possible marketing opportunity of a facility offset the cost? Thanks in advance .
 

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In western Canada, the wheat board forced us all into on-farm storage because they were so slow to take and market our grain for us. And now of course Canadian farmers are in a pretty good position. But a lot of American farms don't have any storage. I think that's getting to be less common. But a few years ago driving across parts of the US I was shocked by how few bins were in the farm yards. Storage can absolutely pay for itself in marketing opportunity. It might take a few years to pay off, but it will.

I found it interesting watching Rice Farming TV on youtube that they haul all their rice directly to the terminal. I think that's because it has to be dried down. Few bins on their farm.

This year we sold nearly all our hard red spring wheat and red winter wheat straight off the combine. Although we binned it for a few days first, then hauled it. I think we filled the same bin 4 times this year. Prices were decent and I don't see anything in the near future that will drive wheat prices higher. There's definitely no shortage of wheat generally, and in southern Alberta at least, yields were phenomenal and quality was good.
 

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Where I'm at probably 1/4 to 1/3 of the farms have on-farm storage, but almost no one uses it. Everyone just hauls it in to the elevator.
 

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Wow, I feel like a jerk for writing the comment above. Hauling all my grain to buyers straight off the combine without storage is a completely foreign concept for me. For my operation it would mean a total disruption of harvest after every truckload, and then likely a 75 mile haul to get to an elevator that would take it IF they would take it.
Just wouldn't be feasible for me to NOT have storage.
You are very likely to get some solid ideas from other posters. I wish I had thought before I posted.
All the best, and good luck with your project!
 

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An argument in favor of not storing on farm is that once hauled, your grain is somebody else's problem (even if you're paying the elevator for storage). There's always an element of risk in storing your own grain. Just last week on this forum someone posted about having some spoiled mustard that had heated in the bin. I think everyone here has had some experience with heated grain in a bin. Even the driest grain will sweat when first placed in a steel bin. And often grain is very hot going into the bin (30+C). Bugs are another common problem, occasionally requiring some nasty fumigation. Both of these issues can be solved with aeration (extra cost of course).

I'm not sure where you're based at or what you plan to store, but if you ever plan to store you grain for months or even years, I think aeration and temperature monitoring would be essential. They certainly are here.
 

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We only have a little on farm storage, most of our grain goes to the elevator, I think the farthest we have to haul from any one field is 15 miles one way. That said we are looking at adding some more storage so we can take advantage of some marketing opportunities we don't have hauling to the local elevator. For this stage we are looking at going with Meridian hopper bottoms, ease of clean out and quality of build are big selling factors, plus we want some smaller bins for segregation of protein in wheat. The quote that I got from them for a full bin with all the bells and whisles (aeration etc) was $5.25/bu. For flat bottom steel it would probably be around $2.25 based on neighbors but that's without any support equipment like a bin fill auger etc.
 

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Correct me if I am wrong, but is there not also a lot of community storage in the US. Notice quite a bit of it on 1_94 in N Dakota, everyone hauls to on location with their farm trucks, and when it is time to move it, send in a fleet of trucks and do it all in a day.
 

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We have enough storage for our corn but not our beans. We found in our operation, with just 2 guys, we can dedicate one bin early on for beans and keep the combine moving thru all of bean harvest. One guy in the combine, one guy running wagons and loading into the bin. Later on, while we are chipping away at corn, we can slowly start hauling the beans away and get that bin emptied for corn. Yes, we are moving it twice, but it keeps the combine rolling and we are able to get beans off dry and in a timely manner. Just another thing to consider when putting up a bin. They can be helpful in more than just the marketing aspect.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for the replies guys, our problem is not necessarily the drive to the elevator, its the lack of truck drivers, helpers etc. there's many times where I'm a one man show and sitting in line at the elevator for 3 hours is where I came to the conclusion that there has to be a better way. Hopefully I can get more help in years to come and forget about a facility since we have acres dedicated to cotton also.
 

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Here in Minnesota you almost have to have some storage. The lines at elevators get ridiculous in the fall. There is times when it’s 12 hours to dump a load of beans.
 

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So you have no on-farm storage and you deliver your entire crop to the elevator as you harvest? I've had wet dreams like that....
Thats how 95% of farms operate in West Oz. Its called CBH and is the envy of the rest of Oz. Half the handling charges of the Corporate owned Elevators on the east coast. Yet there are still a few fools that eye off what we have cooperatively built and want to sell it for the one off cash hit.
 

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When I started farming I had 3 elevators within 3 miles and a railroad track running through the middle of the farm. The railroad tracks are gone and a lot of what I sell travels more than 45 miles. If I can't store 100% of what I grow, I'll be dumping it in piles on the ground, and yes, that has happened... Our local elevators were all owned by farmer co-ops back then too... now it's almost all foreign ownership and I can't see where anything has improved, just bigger elevators further away.
 

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When I started farming I had 3 elevators within 3 miles and a railroad track running through the middle of the farm. The railroad tracks are gone and a lot of what I sell travels more than 45 miles. If I can't store 100% of what I grow, I'll be dumping it in piles on the ground, and yes, that has happened... Our local elevators were all owned by farmer co-ops back then too... now it's almost all foreign ownership and I can't see where anything has improved, just bigger elevators further away.
We are going that way to a certain extent as it doesnt make sense to keep all the small sites operating only 15-20kms apart. They were built when the average farm truck was 8t, now most every cockie runs a road train with min payload of 50t. So half the small sites are being progressively closed and the rest are being at least tripled in size.
 
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