Agribusiness & Food

Silos provide salvation during supply chain chaos

HE Silos tells ABHR about why demand for on-farm silos is increasing and how the company helps farmers grow their storage infrastructure.

HE Silos is helping Australian farmers store their grain to better manoeuvre through supply chain disruptions and tumultuous international markets.

Australian agriculture relies on international markets and supply chains for several inputs. 

Substantial and prolonged disruptions to these supply chains are unlikely, ongoing conflicts in Europe and the global pandemic has the potential to cause significant chaos across the globe.

Karen Jolly, sales manager at HE Silos, said the interruption of these supply chains, the lack of labour to harvest crops and the uncertainty over the availability for inputs like chemicals and fertiliser have been major challenges for the Australian industry.

“There has been a shift to on-farm storage driven by the need to reduce downtime, freight costs, and respond to improvements in harvest efficiency,” Jolly told ABHR.

“Successful storage on farm, needs to consider the storage and handling equipment, the capital costs, the ability to undertake and perform preventative maintenance, and monitoring for insects and mould.

“HE Silos is a leading silo manufacturer for the Australian and international markets. We focus our designs on safety, efficient operation and protecting the stored products to minimise losses occurred during post-harvest storage.”

The four main types of grain storage are gas tight sealed silos, non-sealed silos, grain bags and grain sheds. HE Silos specialises in gas tight sealable grain silos and can install them within an hour of arriving at the property.

The company works with its customers to recommend position of the silo to optimise traffic flow, and generally to assist with improving on farm safety and efficiency.

Jolly said HE Silos collaborates to design a customer’s ideal grain storage facility that suits their business now and into the future.

“HE Silos can provide site visits, to commence the process of design, site flow and other site-specific aspects of the project to help maximise on farm safety and efficiencies” she said. 

“We can provide segregation options to ensure all grain is kept at an optimum quality, including feedlot systems that incorporate the latest designs, or even custom design a silo to suit specific needs.”

HE Silos also works with its customers to determine how soon the Silo will provide a return on investment (ROI). The ROI of each silo depends on several factors, including seasonal price variations, harvest logistics, market trends, freight, and more.

As a permanent fixture on farm, silos are initially one of the most expensive options for grain storage, but in the long term, they can be one of the cheaper forms of on-farm grain storage, if managed and maintained correctly.

Jolly said the best time to plan for future grain storage requirements is at harvest, as it can help identify any issues, bottlenecks, and placement for future storage that can be easily forgotten once the next season’s crop gets underway.

“The other factor to take into consideration is weather – having a silo foundation completed well ahead of time can assist in mitigating issues arising from wet weather, which enables delivery of your silo at the first opportunity,” she said.

The company recognises that there are many areas in Australia where grain storage is required, but the area itself is not accessible through standard delivery methods.

We have developed a range of KIT silos that can be delivered directly to site, then assembled on site, including ladders, cages, and remote opening lids.

“Our KIT Silos are packed on skids, with all fittings necessary to construct the silo,” she said.

“This can also reduce freight costs, particularly for remote areas or internationally” 

“We continually review our designs, introducing the latest technologies with our focus on preserving food security,” she said. 

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