Experts are predicting national record harvests of 10.4 billion bushels of corn (with an average yield of 141.9 bu./acre) and almost 3 billion bushels of soybeans (with an average yield of 40.7 bu./acre) this year. Whether you plan to store your commodities or send them directly to an elevator, these new grain handlers will help speed up and ease the movement of abundant amounts of product.
CrustBuster/Speed King says its new 10-in. BeltVeyor will solve most bulk material handling problems, including damaged grain and downtime.
The portable unit gently carries product on a 12-in. belt inside a 10-in. tube. An extra inch of belt runs on either side of the tube to help eliminate grain catching at the edges. Once inside the tube, the grain just lies on the belt until it's dropped in the bin or on the ground. The unit requires a minimal amount of power - about 30 rpm - and you can use an electric motor, gas engine, hydraulics or a PTO to run up to 5,000 bu./hr. Suggested retail price: $3,753 to $12,830 for 20- to 85-ft. lengths. Contact CrustBuster/Speed King, Dept. FIN, Box 1438, Dodge City, KS 67801, 316/227-7106 or circle 199.
Brandt Industries launches what it calls the highest-capacity 10-in. grain conveyor available. The GrainBelt is available in 65- and 75-ft. units (models 1565 and 1575, respectively). Both feature 15-in. belts that move more than 6,000 bu./hr. at a 25ø elevation. The conveyer comes with a 39- x 44-in. collapsible hopper made from tubing for a stronger frame and three drive options: electric, gas and PTO. Also new from the company is the 1515 low-profile transfer unit. Prices: 1565, $8,465; 1575, $9,039 (both with PTO drive). Contact Brandt Industries, Dept. FIN, Box 317, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada S4P 3A1, 306/525-1314 or circle 198.
Westfield Industries claims that its new auger reaches higher and longer than any other on the market. At 111 ft., the MK 130-111 grain auger has a raised height of 71 1/2 ft. for loading tall bins and a maximum reach of 54 ft. 7 in. for ground or flat storage. It needs only 120 PTO hp to move 10,000 bu. of dry wheat/hr. Price was not available at press time. Contact Westfield Industries, Dept. FIN, Box 39, Rosenort, Manitoba, Canada R06 1W0, 204/746-2396 or circle 197.
USDA records show that U.S. storage capacity is down 28% from four years ago while grain output has risen an average 4.4% a year in the past five years. And the agency expects this fall's crop to be among the biggest ever harvested, requiring 700 million bushels of storage more than was needed last fall. All this, coupled with low grain prices and a lot of carryover grain, may mean you need extra storage this year.
If your local elevator is strained with grain, here are some tips to help you store more on the farm. (Also, check out www.bae. umn.edu/extens/postharvest/temp stor.html for more information.)
v Use cylindrical metal bins first.
v Ask your neighbors if they have bins for rent; develop a written agreement stating who is responsible for electricity costs, checking grain and any repair needs.
v Fill a temporary structure last; empty it first.
v Store only grain that is high quality (no wet pockets or foreign or trashy material), cool (45øF or at least less than 65øF) and dry (1% below acceptable market moisture content) in temporary facilities. If foreign material is a problem, make two piles and segregate the low-quality grain.
v If storing grain in a machine shed or pole barn, clean the building carefully. Build piles no higher than 4 ft. along the walls of the buildings.
v Use aeration if grain will be stored more than a month.
v Use a layer of plastic at least 6 ml thick on concrete or dirt floors, which can wick moisture.
v Pile grain outside only as a last resort.