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Experimental Farm gets first on-site grain storage

By Staff | Jul 5, 2015

-Contributed photo THE 10,500-BUSHEL grain bin gets its roof before it and the first section begin rising in the air as new sections are added from the botton toward completion.

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SUTHERLAND – Nothing gleams like a brand new grain bin.

A 30-foot, 10,500-bushel, GSI steel bin storage system was installed during June on the ISU-Northwest Iowa Experimental and Research Farm in rural Sutherland.

The bin will provide the farm with its first on-site storage capability.

The new bin will hold about one-third of the farm’s corn harvest, saving the operation money on grain drying and off-site storage.

-Farm News photo by Michele Linck AGRUCULTURAL SPECIALIST Terry Tuttle, who works at ISU’s Northwest Iowa Experimental and Research Farm near Sutherland, stands inside the door in the base of the new 10,500-bushel, GSI grain bin. The local GSI dealer in Calumet, C-S Agrow, installed the bin and a number of accessories including a motor for unloading, blower, fan and heater, a stirring device, dryer, aeration floor and vertical aerators that allow air go up the inside wall to keep corn from sticking to it. Agrow’s affiliated company, The Concrete Guys, installed the bin’s foundation. The contributions of both companies cut the cost of the project roughly in half, Tuttle said.

It will also keep the grain it stores in good condition.

“It’s amazing how much more there is to a grain bin than most people think,” said Josh Sievers, superintendent of the research farm.

C-S Agrow Service, a Calumet-based Grain Systems Inc. dealer, “really rolled out the red carpet for us with this grain bin, the options they put on it.”

Sievers said he had approached C-S Agrow last fall about working with the farm to install a bin at low cost.

The company agreed, saving the farm about 50 percent of the retail price.

The bin was donated to the farm by the Assumption, Ill.-based GSI, which manufactures bins, silos and grain handling systems.

“They’ve been hauling their grain into town, Calumet, either selling it or storing it,” said Bryan Halverson, sales manager for C-S Agrow Service.

The concrete pad for the new bin was installed by C-S Agrow’s affiliated company, The Concrete Guys, which charged nothing for its crew’s several days of labor.

The necessary strength of concrete cost $90 per square-yard, Sievers said.

Safe, labor-saving

The options offered to Sievers included a centrifugal fan, the ability to heat and dry the grain, and an unloading system.

The bin holds a package of accessories that includes outside stairs, an unloading augur, aeration floor, stirring equipment and a heater.

“Not only is it labor-saving, it would have taken us a very long time to save to make it possible,” Sievers said of the roughly $50,000 project.

“It’s also a safer deal,” he added. “There’s no reason to put a person inside the bin.

There’s also a vertical augur.”

Sievers said that the farm will produce about 28,000 bushels of corn this year, and that the new bin will hold about one-third of that grain.

For years the experimental farm has been paying for off-site drying and storage.

The new bin will help cut those costs, perhaps enabling a bit more money to be spent on research at the farm or on cooperating area farms.

Sievers said the ability to dry grain when commercial dryers are backlogged gets delivery to buyers sooner.

“It creates another opportunity to remain timely,” Sievers said

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