DEMAND for on-farm storage has been increasing each year, and 2020 is no exception, with limited bulk storage facilities available for what will be one of the country's biggest harvests in many years.
When selecting silos, quality is key, and storage specialists Allied Grain Systems custom design grain storage and handling systems that are tailored to the customer.
Allied Grain Systems, which has head offices at Young, NSW, and Toowoomba, QLD, can design, supply and install silos and conveyor systems throughout Australia.
"Our ability to determine and understand exact needs of customers makes us a stand out in the grain industry," John White, owner and director, said.
"During our design process we consider existing infrastructure, adaptation of new machinery and storage to produce outstanding results which are cost effective."
Projects can be designed to be rolled out in stages over numerous years to support cashflow management.
"Our philosophy is to build a cost-effective grain storage and handling systems that suit specific requirements, considering future needs to remain cost-effective to run and maintain, all without compromising quality."
Allied's partnership with international company AGI allows the business to offer an extrensive range of products to the Australian market. This includes grain storage silos, from 500t to 15,000t flat bottom silos; cone-based silos from 2t to 1370t capacity in both commercial and agricultural models; and heavy duty commercial conveyors such as AGI Hi Roller, AGI Union Iron and Tramco. Allied also supply a huge range of AGI portable, X-tend swing away augers and conveyors, which are manufactured for Australia's harsh conditions.
Increased market flexibility at West Wyalong, NSW
Investing in the best quality grain storage has given West Wyalong farmer and trained agronomist Paul McCaskie more flexibility around market opportunities.
Mr McCaskie grows wheat, canola and barley, and prior to having the ability to store grain, everything he and his team harvested needed to be delivered to a bulk grain facility within a certain amount of time.
"We've always had some elevated storage, but only limited tonnage," he said.
They also had limitations when it came to bulk handlers due to limited opening hours or the possibility of them closing down in nearby towns.
The most important factor for Mr McCaskie was a well-aerated silo with a quality seal. He purchased the flat-bottomed silos, which has allowed his team to change harvest procedures. It's enabled them to capitalise on the fluctuations in grain prices and helps protect them from the drops in pricing.
"We won't necessarily fill the silos every year, but it gives us marketing options and flexibility at harvest," Mr McCaskie said.
He said his experience with Allied Grain was seamless.
"Brian's been great with his information flow and answering my questions that I had both at the time of purchase and right throughout the installation."
Grain storage investment facilitates growth at Smithfield
For Jason Shearer Smith, managing director of Smithfield Cattle Company, integrating Allied Grain Systems storage into the existing system has created more capacity for the business to grow.
Smithfield is a family owned cattle operation that grows and markets cattle both domestically and internationally, with the business including crop production, grazing and lotfeeding with two feedlots in Queensland, the 60,000-head capacity Smithfield at Proston, and sapphire at Goondiwindi, which is increasing from 15,000 to 20,000 head.
In 2019, Smithfield purchased 4000 tonnes of grain storage along with a 75-tonne garner bin and 150 tonne per hour elevator with an eight-way head.
Mr Shearer-Smith said the team had been operating the system for about six months and it had worked perfectly with their existing system.
When considering more silo storage there were many ideas and concepts he and his team reviewed.
"Allied Grain Systems, by far, was the best at designing a simple, reliable, high-capacity system at a competitive price," he said.
"The storage system will allow key opportunities such as faster unloading and greater capacity to better manage our harvest.
"We spoke to many manufactures for ideas and concepts; we drew on Allied Grain Systems' experience of operating grain handling systems over the past 35 years.
"We chose to work with Allied because (director) John White was excellent to deal with and the company was very cost competitive."
The team handles roughly 50,000 tonnes per year, but that 's expected to grow to 70,000 tonnes annually from the end of 2020.
Mr Shearer-Smith was after something quick, reliable and easy to use to facilitate this growth.
"It's only early days however the quality of the equipment should keep our repair and maintenance costs to a minimum."