Growers urged to consider grain storage needs

Author: Sarah Jeffrey | Date: 21 Jul 2015

Image of grain silos in the northern region.

Growers looking to take advantage of new small business tax incentives and invest in grain storage equipment should carefully consider their requirements in order to maximise the quality and profitability of stored grain.

That’s the advice of Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) senior development agronomist (Postharvest Grain Protection) Philip Burrill who said interest in purchasing new on-farm silos had surged following the Federal Government’s recent announcement of new asset depreciation rules as part of its 2015 budget.

Mr Burrill will address growers on grain storage efficiency during the upcoming Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) Grains Research Updates in Coonamble on July 29 and Roma on August 5.

Mr Burrill and members of DAF’s post-harvest research team will also be on hand at GRDC Grains Research Updates at Moree on July 28, Jondaryan on August 4 and Nindigully on August 6 to answer any questions growers have regarding grain storage.

He said growers could dramatically impact grain quality by selecting well-designed silos with adequate aeration and the ability to be sealed gas-tight for fumigation.

“To maintain grain quality and reduce storage pest problems growers need to consider whether a silo is easy to clean when empty,” he said.

“Silo hygiene is vital and problems arise if silos take a lot of additional work to completely clean out. Those last remaining grain residues have a big impact on how often pest infestations occur.”

The incidence and severity of pest problems can be combatted with adequate aeration cooling of stored grain according to Mr Burrill, and he urged growers to seek advice on fan type, fan size and the model of auto controller selected to run fans.

For most farm situations, he said fumigation was the only option for managing a storage pest infestation and that new silos needed to meet the Australian standard AS2628 for gas-tight sealing so fumigations were effective.

“If you start with a well-designed silo with good structural build quality, placed on a sound concrete foundation, it is going to have less problems over time remaining gas-tight when fumigations are required,” he said.

The ability to segregate grain is also a key consideration for growers in new silo purchases as grain buyers will offer premiums to ensure quality specifications for export and domestic contracts are met.

“The ability to segregate grain on quality attributes, such as protein content, at harvest time has become more attractive in recent years. Buying two silos, rather than one very large silo may pay,” Mr Burrill said.

“Depending on the farm’s range of grain types, volumes, quality segregations and usual harvest moisture contents, it is a good idea to choose silos sized for segregations carefully.

“Any growers who are interested in discussing their grain storage needs and seeking advice on equipment considerations and silo design can visit us at any of the upcoming GRDC Grains Research Updates.”

A variety of information and factsheets on grain storage is also available via the GRDC Stored Grain Information Hub while general telephone enquiries can be directed to 1800-WEEVIL (1800 933 845).

To RSVP/register for the GRDC Grains Research Updates or for further information or the agenda contact Updates coordinator John Cameron or Erica McKay, ICAN on 02 9482 4930, e-mail or visit the GRDC Grains Research Update pages for Moree, Coonamble, Jondaryan, Roma and Nindigully.


Contact Details

For Interviews

Louise Morgan, DAF Senior Media & Communication Officer
07 3087 8580


Sarah Jeffrey, Senior Consultant, Cox Inall Communications
08 9864 2034, 0427 189 827

GRDC Project Code PAD00001

Region North