Top Challenges in Grain Handling

There are many challenges facing the grain handling industry with no end in sight. The team at Interface Automation is here to bring those factors to surface so you can better prepare your operations and grain handling systems and equipment. The most pressing challenges include storage, finances, competition, and health hazards.

As the number and height of storage bins increase, grain storage issues also increase. The increase in demand for grain has also affected the need for greater storage. An increase in demand may seem like a good thing, and it is in the sense that farmers will be able to make more profit. However, as demand increases, so does the need for storage and storage does not come cheap.

There are many factors that go into a great storage bin such as aeration and fan control to protect the grains. The problem is that there is not enough storage to protect the and increasing the amount of storage can be very expensive.

Finances & Transportation
Finances will always be a challenge to face. As we mentioned above, the greater need for storage will be costly for farmers because they will need to buy larger, more efficient bins. Another factor that greatly affects expenses and finances is transportation. More so the cost of gas prices and truck drivers. As of late, diesel gas prices have leveled out but the night spike in prices will be sure to hurt your wallet. Truck drivers are another enormous expense- without them, the grain doesn’t get anywhere. As their wages increase, it adds extra expenses to your operation.

In recent years, there has been an exponential increase in competition for producers within the grain handling industry. There is a handful of farmers controlling a large amount of the production, storage, distribution of grain- essentially cutting out the elevator. This means that they have far more information and knowledge than they had before, essentially bringing them neck and neck to grain buyers.

The highest levels of competition are between the farms themselves and the grain merchandising companies. The need for grain is higher now than it has been before because of products such as ethanol. With the increased need for grain, companies and exporters are going directly to the farmer for the grain and not the grain handlers and merchandisers themselves.
Health Hazards

There are many health hazards when it comes to grain handling. Though uncommon, people have died in grain bins from entrapment and suffocation. It’s incredibly important to take every precaution before entering a bin.

Spoiled grain and excess dust can also impose respiratory problems. Inhaling the mold spores from the spoiled grain can create a reaction in the lungs causing hospitalization if it becomes severe enough. Dust can also irritate the lungs and throat which is why we suggest wearing a mask for your protection.

There is also a risk of falling when climbing up the grain bin. To reduce this risk, we recommend installing permanent ladders and a landing platform on top of the ladder for ease of transfer to the bin. These health hazards are preventable when taking extra precautions.

Success with Interface Automation
Interface Automation is your industry expert for providing innovative, effective solutions for your agricultural automation and grain handling needs. We understand the challenges that your operations faces and can provide you with a custom solution completely unique to your needs. Have questions? Our team can easily be reached at (419)-270-5755.