BRAINY BINS FOR BETTER GRAIN STORAGE MANAGEMENT

Todd Sears

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"I
know people hesitate to spend the money on bin technology, but it’s a no-brainer for me.”

That’s the kind of message we communicate every day. But it’s especially gratifying when I hear it from a customer. In Successful Farming’s May issue, a couple of us from IntelliFarms and our customer, Dean Alexander, spoke about the importance and benefits of grain storage management technology like that offered by BinManager in an article titled, “Brainy Bins.”

 Dean went on to say, ““The technology more than paid for itself in just one bin. “I’ve turned a storage unit into a working tool for my operation.”

That’s awesome to hear - I couldn’t have said it any better. We were honored to be featured by Successful Farming in this story and a recent segment on The Machinery Show on RFD-TV which highlight where grain bin and grain silo technology is going. And the benefit stretches across the entire production chain, from seed companies hoping to market top-performing product all the way to buyers wanting to purchase top-quality grain.

The forgotten component: Grain storage management

Every year, growers are adding more and more storage. In the article “Brainy Bins,” for example, Dean Alexander says he moved up from 60,000 bushels of storage to over 300,000. That’s when he knew he needed to stop estimating his moisture content and start knowing and understanding it. We were happy he went with our product to do this.

With our new 3G Plus Cables that I’ve mentioned in the past, a producer can see both temperature and moisture readings throughout the bin. These accurate readings allow a guy like Dean to see exactly what is happening, and our system automatically helps get him to his target moisture, even rehydrating if needed.

The traditional farming method has been to plant, harvest, store, and sell. And when it came to storing, traditional practice is to put the grain in, flip on the fans, keep them running for 2-3 months and maybe flip on every so often in the winter. And then, see what you get. Currently, our data shows only 5-10% of bins are utilizing an automated bin management system to ensure grain quality and top prices at market. That means 90%+ are losing money instead of saving or even gaining it with smart storage. As Dean noted in “Brainy Bins,” too often he would drive up to 150 miles only to be turned away because his corn’s moisture content was too high.

Storage management is often a forgotten component of agriculture, but that is changing.

Looking ahead

A big reason for the growth in storage is because people are realizing opportunities available in on-farm storage, especially value in storing longer to sell at better prices. Bins are growing in size too, which can add challenges in management. We’re always working to increase our capabilities and adapt to these changes, with the goal of making a grain bin a tool to build bottom lines and also keep people safe and out of the bin.

With the growing food demands in our world, improving grain storage to improve quality and quantity will be more important than ever. In my mind, “brainy bins” are a no-brainer.