Agriculture, Silos

HE Silos delivers the tools to fight world hunger

NSW-based silo manufacturer HE Silos Forbes with their sister company Grain Storage Technology has expanded into South Australia. ABHR finds out how the company plans to cement itself in the new market.

Creating a world without hunger is HE Silo’s Forbes’ ultimate goal. ABHR learns more about the company’s vision and how its roadmap is helping achieve this mission.

The team at HE Silos Forbes have travelled the world and what they found was heartbreaking. While visiting developing nations, they saw first-hand the heartbreaking effects of famine.

Stevie-Leigh Morrison, executive director and third generation member of the family business, told ABHR about entire countries that lose as much grain as Australia produces every year.

“We have extensively travelled and have seen people go without basic needs – needs that would be taken for granted in Australia,” she said.

“A lot of why people go hungry isn’t due to a lack of grain being grown, but improper storage. They don’t have the knowledge, or the infrastructure required, which causes millions of tonnes of food to be spoiled by pests and mould.”

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The Forbes, NSW, company has made its mission to ensure nobody needs to go hungry again. To do that, it wants to see thousands of grain growers equipped with the technology, infrastructure, and knowledge to store their grain correctly.

This vision has led HE Silos Forbes to manufacture premium quality silos that are designed to store grain for long periods of time. For Australian famers, this means product can be stored during harvest and reliably sold with minimal degradation at a later date, when the cost of grain rises.

If grain is damaged during this storage period, it is not worth as much, which can affect that grower’s profitability and limit their growth. External factors like the cost of fertiliser, pesticide, and freight can also lead higher input costs, less yields, and less returns, especially with global fluctuations due to interest rates, fuel shortages and war.

Morrison said its harder to make a dollar now than it was 10 years ago with all the variables at play, which is why HE Silos Forbes manufactures its systems to a high quality for product longevity.

“Some manufacturers may only do and provide the bare minimum – we want to go above and beyond,” she said.

“We use the strongest and thickest materials on all our products from local suppliers, built to all Australian Standards. This means our customers can rely on our equipment so they can focus on other parts of their business.”

The company is celebrating is 55th year of business in 2024. The company’s founders – Ivan and Patricia Morrison – began by building whatever their local customers needed, from silos to sheds as Hillston Engineering. 

Larry Storm, the company’s general manager, said the company has continued to grow thanks to constant innovation. 

“We’re a family run business that has been built up to meet ever evolving industry needs,” he said. 

“Growers, farmers, grain storage companies, processors and producers have all asked us to engineer products to suit their needs and that can help solve their problems. That’s grown from different types of silos and adapting all kinds of new technologies to those silos.

Currently, HE Silos’ development team is focusing its effort on the growing agricultural technology sector. Advances in technology now allow silo owners to use the Internet of Things to access detailed information about their operations in much more convenient ways.

One of the problems with the available technology is that while it is extremely helpful, it can also be too expensive for the small to medium enterprises.

Storm said providing a cost-effective method of accessing this data is crucial, which is why the company has partnered with researchers at the University of Wollongong’s Smart Infrastructure Facility.

As part of the CSIRO’s Innovation Connections grant program, the university has worked closely with HE Silo’s to design and test a new type of silo venting system, the standalone unit aims to suit all applications and fit on any silo system. 

“Gone are the days of putting grain in a silo, sealing it, and hoping it’s alright when it comes time to sell, plant or feed to livestock,” Storm said.

“We have developed a working prototype, which has been rigorously tested in a controlled laboratory, proving functionality and that it is “fit for purpose”, with field testing to begin in the near future, once we are satisfied with the performance in the field, then it will be introduced to the market”. 

“There is nothing like this system on the market globally, it is a first, and our intention is to keep the pricing where it is affordable and offers a great  return on investment for customers.”

As part of the company’s continued growth, Morrison Industries – the parent company of HE Silos Forbes – has recently acquired the Toowoomba-based drying and aeration manufacturer Agridry.

The company, founded in 1976, focuses on developing products for the grain, almonds, pulses, nuts, and wood chip markets. Its brands include Predator, Goliath, Tundra, Kinetic and Tanami.

Dryers and coolers play a key part in grain storage, as they allow a silo owner to manage the moisture level. Morrison said the two companies have worked closely with each other for more than 20 years.

“The purchase allows us to expand further into the agricultural technology space, design better products, and support our clients,” she said.

“We have a lot of plans to keep growing, especially in our South Australian site. There are so many amazing growers around the country with unique products and we want to help them with our high-quality, Aussie-made silos.” 

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