Agriculture, Silos

HE Silos fights food shortages

HE Silos Forbes is developing new grain technologies that aim to make post harvest grain storage easier and more accessible.

HE Silos Forbes is developing new grain technologies that aim to make post harvest grain storage easier and more accessible.

Improper grain storage can wipe out vital crops. As the rates of droughts, floods and other unseasonable weather events increase, the threat of famine also increases.

HE Silos Forbes has made its mission to help fight this. Stevie-Leigh Morrison, the family business’s executive director, told ABHR that accessibility is the key.

“So many people go hungry around the world. If we were able to help save one per cent more grain through better storage practices, that means more people can be fed,” she said.

“India loses almost the same amount of grain from improper post harvest storage as Australia grows in a year. 

“Most systems on the market that can monitor temperature and phosphine levels are between $5000 and $10,000. Smaller growers cannot afford that, so our contribution to food security needs to be accessible.”

Related stories:

To deliver on this, the company has partnered with the University of Wollongong’s Smart Infrastructure Facility with Dr Cormac Fay heading the project as part of the CSIRO’s Innovation Connections grant program. The university is working closely with HE Silo’s Forbes development team to design and test a new type of silo venting system to improve grain quality.

The standalone unit will ideally suit all operations, adaptable to fit on any Silo storage system and work without requiring electricity. This will allow it to run all year round and ensure every grower can include it on their silos.

Morrison said that not everyone has access to power, but still need to protect their grain.

The concept was inspired by conversations between HE Silos Forbes and its customers, listening to the struggles they were facing when it comes to post-harvest storage. 

“Being able to give farmers the ability to directly market their grain has never been more important,” Morrison said.

“Farmers with storage need to know the grain can be sold at the same level of quality when it was initially stored.

“The unit is still in the testing phases – the system is designed to reduce condensation, which is one of the causes of grain degradation during post harvest storage, and find ways to add value to the grain. 

To support the development, HE Silos Forbes have provided the university with a miniature silo. The researchers have access to an atmosphere chamber enabling them to simulate any weather condition, to fine tune and ensure the system will work in any climatic condition.

“It’s important for us to continue supporting innovations through collaborations like these. We’ve seen the meteoric effect of what can happen when technology rapidly advances, and it’s a vital step to fight food shortages.”

The Morrison family has been involved in the agricultural industry for four generations and has plans to continue this growth. HE Silo’s Forbes sister company, Grain Storage Technology (GST), will begin distributing its products across South Australia’s Yorke Peninsula.

The silos will be manufactured in NSW and installed and serviced by GST’s staff locally. 

Morrison said diversifying the markets HE Silos supports means it can enhance multiple regions.

“The moisture in the soil in the Yorke Peninsula is high right now, and its likely they’ll have a great growing season,” she said.

“In Southern NSW, it’s not looking as great – which is surprising due to the recent flooding. That means we can help take Grain Storage Technologies to the next level in other regions.”

To support its new distribution centre, the company will be hosting an open day. Guests will be able to speak to industry leaders and get up close with the product.

HE Silos Forbes plans to have the whole family there, from the founder to the latest member – an 18-month year old.

Morrison said the day will be a great way to showcase the family values HE Silos Forbes holds.

“You can meet us and get to know the people who you’re buying from. You can get up close and touch, see and learn about our products.”

“We will be showcasing our current offering, along with a few new developments, built specifically for the South Australian market.”

“Family is everything for us. Nothing is more important than family, feeding the world, and sharing our passion for grain storage,” Morrison said. 

Send this to a friend