Over the past few weeks, I have had several phone calls, from our area farmers, asking what to do because they cannot get grain from their unload augers to flow. These are the same calls I get every year, about this time. Many have to do with malfunctions of equipment or problems with their unloading equipment. Most have to do with grain not conditioned properly when stored, grain not conditioned properly after being stored or many just not monitoring their grain at all. The later of the problems could mostly have been avoided with proper grain management and a little investment of time.
Grain management can be as simple as weekly visual inspections of the grain in the bins, or as detailed as complete bin management systems that monitor the grain, report to you the findings, give you real-time data and can control the fans/heaters. Obviously, the simple management is something we all have the ability to do, but many choose not to or rely on the "It was good when we put in in there" method. The detailed management is also something we all have the ability to do, but it will incur costs, costs that are hard to swallow with the prices and inputs where they are right now. What I am proposing to you, is that Grain Management is never a project too expensive to undertake and will pay for itself over time, possibly the first year of use.
I once had a class where the instructor asked a room full of farmers to raise their hand on how often they checked on a bin full of corn. A few were once a week, a few more were once every two weeks, a few more once a month, but most were once a season or never until it was time to haul-off. He then asked the same question but instead of corn, the commodity was $250,000.00 cash. Immediately they all raised their hands on checking it everyday, and many exclaimed "I would be out there everyday full-time, armed, doing whatever I could do to protect it". This is the approach we need to take when thinking of Grain Management. The corn in those bins is essentially cash, it is the lifeblood of your farms/your families, it is what you put your time/life/blood/sweat into, protect it at all costs!
Farming today can be very hard but it can also be very rewarding. Many farmers have told me how rewarding it feels to see plants be born, grow to maturity and produce an abundance of crop, all-the-while, knowing they are the ones to help make this happen. Sounds like what parents say about their children, wouldn't you protect your children "At all costs"? Let me set something straight, "At all costs" does not mean I want you to go out and spend $50,000 on a new Grain Management system, I want you to start thinking about protecting your lifeblood. Protection comes in many forms and does not have to cost anything, other than your time and due diligence.
We do sell and install the Grain Management systems that help you monitor and control airflow in bins, but my intentions for this post is to get you thinking about Grain Management. Give me a call, and I would be happy to talk with you about your bins and what steps can be taken to help ensure you maximize your profits from that bin. Anything I can do to not have the plugged unload call, would be music to my ears, knowing the grain in my area is being stored correctly, nice and snug, waiting to be hauled-off.
VP of Design & Engineering
Midwest Ag Systems, Inc.