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4 Signs It’s Time to Upgrade Your Grain Handling System


  1. You Have Excess Waste as a Result of Damaged Equipment
  2. You’re Expanding Operations
  3. You Need to Cut Costs
  4. You Want to Increase Safety Measures

Upgrade Your Grain Handling Equipment Today with LCDM

Thanks to recent technology and equipment improvements, the grain handling industry is far safer and more efficient than it used to be. Gone are the days of climbing inside grain bins to investigate concerns or spending valuable working time manually testing the temperature and moisture levels of each storage receptacle. By upgrading your storage handling system, you can reallocate time and money to other areas of your farm or business and streamline your operation.

Keep reading to learn more about improving the quality of your finished product as well as how to improve grain storage by making effective upgrades.

1. You Have Excess Waste as a Result of Damaged Equipment

One of the leading causes of grain waste and loss is inadequate storage infrastructure. Issues with storage systems that often lead to grain waste include:

  • Insect and rodent infestation.
  • Fungal growth.
  • Incorrect storage temperature.
  • Excess moisture or humidity.
  • Exposure to rain and weather.
  • Leaks due to damage or improper sealing.

If you’ve noticed excess waste, identifying and correcting issues in your system is crucial. Some parts of your system could have become damaged.

A few critical areas to investigate are:

  • Leaking flow valves or slide gates.
  • Holes in the siding or roof of the grain bin, which can lead to leaks and infestations.
  • Blocked or broken down aeration systems, which leads to harmful moisture build-up.

If you’re unsure how to improve grain handling systems to minimize post-harvest grain loss, one of the best places to start is implementing high-quality upgrades. For example, you could replace leaking flow valves with valves designed to accommodate spout capacity or slide gates with leak-proof inlet collars, which will help prevent future product loss. For holes in your sheet metal, you can use specialized patches for a quick-fix solution.

2. You’re Expanding Operations

If you’ve recently leased or purchased more acreage or are hoping to introduce a new type of grain to your operation, this is the perfect time to implement some upgrades. Even if your current system is performing up to standards, certain upgrades can help improve the quality of your grain and make your operations more efficient, such as:

  • Temperature control: Maintaining a consistent temperature throughout each season is essential for fostering high-quality grain. In the past, temperatures had to be taken manually, and readings were not always accurate. Today, grain handling temperature control is safer and far more efficient. Smart sensors let you monitor and adjust the temperature of your grain storage system quickly, often with the push of a button.
  • Moisture monitoring: Wet, soggy grain is a waste, and it can also attract harmful pests and fungi to your handling system and puts other, healthier grains at risk. Two common causes of excess grain moisture are humidity levels and exposure to rain. Similar to temperature control systems, moisture monitoring systems can help you maintain a consistent moisture level in your grain storage so you can intervene before excess moisture has a chance to damage your crop. Specific equipment, such as grain spreaders, can also help you maintain a more uniform holding area and improve overall aeration.
  • Silo leveling: When your grain is level and flat instead of piled into uneven peaks, temperature and moisture controls are more accurate and effective. Your grain will dry more evenly, minimizing inconsistences in your final product. Silo level monitoring systems can help you keep an accurate inventory of your grain levels and ensure they are staying at an even level by sending instant alerts to your phone, tablet or computer.
  • Grain cushioning: If you’re interested in how to improve grain quality, one solution is to implement grain cushioning into your current handling system. The DBAR Adjustable Cushion Box, for example, offers free falling grain a safer fall, even when the flow spouts are not running at full capacity.

3. You Need to Cut Costs

Improving grain storage often means implementing money-saving strategies to cut operating costs and yield bigger profits. Outdated and inefficient tools and equipment can wear down over time, and result in costly malfunctions. By upgrading to newer technology and higher quality materials, you might be able to save both money and time in the long term.

One way to do this is by consulting with an energy professional and asking them to conduct an audit of your current system. They can help you identify areas that may not be operating as efficiently as possible, so you know exactly where to focus your efforts as you upgrade your grain handling system.

4. You Want to Increase Safety Measures

Grain handling has become far safer thanks to modern technology enabling things like outside temperature and moisture monitoring, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t further room for improvement in your existing system. Transferring from a labor-intensive handling system to a more automated process is one way to reduce the chance of injury.

For example, palletizing the end-product can be very strenuous on workers’ bodies, especially for large-scale operations. Upgrades like automated pelletizers relieve this burden from employees and could reduce money spent on things like workers’ compensation and insurance rates.

Dust suppression systems are another way to foster a safer work environment. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) lists grain dust as one of the most significant hazards in the grain handling industry because it can lead to fires and grain dust explosions. Excessive grain dust can also impair workplace visibility, which is dangerous in its own right and can cut down on productivity. To upgrade grain bins in a way that minimizes this hazardous dust, consider adding a dust suppression hopper to contain and remove as much excess dust as possible.

Grain handling is considered a high hazard industry, and one of the biggest reasons is the threat of engulfment. Engulfment is when workers become trapped in the grain. One of the leading causes of grain engulfment comes from workers attempting to investigate spoiled grain.

Grain spoilage occurs due to incorrect temperatures, moisture levels and pest infestations. You can upgrade grain storage to reduce this risk in a few different ways:

  • Invest in higher quality tools and equipment.
  • Patch or replace all damaged parts of the storage and handling areas.
  • Invest in external moisture and temperature monitoring and control systems.

Upgrade Your Grain Handling Equipment Today with LCDM

Upgrading your grain handling system can help you operate more efficiently, cut costs, reduce unnecessary physical strain on workers and improve the overall quality of your grain. By investing in high-quality grain handling upgrades, you are also doing your part to promote a safer workplace and reduce costly and hazardous conditions.

At LCDM, we recognize the need for safer and more efficient grain handling solutions. That’s why we specialize in offering custom design solutions to fit your unique distribution operation. Explore our website to learn more about our grain handling equipment, or contact our team today.

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