Agriculture, Silos

HE Silos bounce back after flooding

Severe flooding has caused havoc across parts of eastern Australia. ABHR talks to HE Silos about how it learned to weather the storm.

Severe flooding has caused havoc across parts of eastern Australia. ABHR talks to HE Silos about how it learned to weather the storm.

After years of drought, 2022 ended up as one the wettest years on record in New South Wales, according to the Bureau of Meteorology. 

While many farmers were rejoicing, the deluge was not all good news. Flooding affected many areas, interrupting growers and agricultural businesses.

Larry Storm, general manager at HE Silos, told ABHR how the floods hit the Forbes-based business.

“Our facilities were flooded twice in one month, losing us a month of production,” he said. “It also saw us not able to deliver silos due to the wet conditions, localised flooding, road closures and lack of access to properties.”

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Extreme weather is just one of the issues facing Australia’s agricultural industry. A disrupted supply chain has led to delays in raw material, labour shortages and job shifting, which Storm said has increased costs of production.

There has also been an increased demand for multiple silo installations on farms to better manage post-harvest storages and segregate product.

Storm said the demand is a direct flow-on effect from several factors, including the drought, COVID-19, and flooding, which created unprecedented market fluctuations.

“This has led to a higher level of risk management from processors to create more consistency for the raw materials supply chain,” he said.

“There is a higher demand for traceability and a trend for processors to place contractors directly with the growers for particular varieties of grain.

“They want to minimise their risks and ensure they are receiving the highest quality and consistent products to run through their processing plants.”

Luckily for HE Silos, the company has bounced back and is remodelling and renovating its offices. 

The company is also upgrading its manufacturing capacities with new equipment and processes. It has redesigned and relaunched its kit silos, which have gone through 3D-computer-aided design modelling and finite element analysis to simulate and review their structural integrity.

Storm said company’s engineers can easily calculate the structural strength with varying material sizes to ensure its silos exceed the industry and global standards.

“With more than 50 years’ experience, we will continue to heavily invest in research and development to ensure we are manufacturing and supplying the best grain storage solutions we possibly can,” he said.

“We are adapting to new manufacturing technologies as equipment and raw materials continue to evolve and improve and our dedicated team take ownership at every level for the quality of our products.

“Coupled with our quality control systems, material and design testing ensures every silo we produce is of the highest standard available on the market.”

The company plans to continue expanding its business through measured capital expansion projects, and to secure the family business for the next generation.

It has a three-year plan to double its capacity and floor space for predicted future growth and has already commenced expanding its bulk and kit silo manufacturing site.

“Our customers always have positive feedback, in particular through the management of deliveries during restricted road movements,” Storm said.

“Even during the flooding, we were able to adapt, hold in our yard and redirect deliveries as required, giving our customers flexibility while they were also suffering from severe flooding.

“A very big thank you goes out to our employees. Without their efforts, we would have certainly lost valuable equipment.” 

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