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Oct 7, 2020

Grain Bag Storage Maintenance Tips

When dealing with a high volume crop, you may decide that short term storage is best to maintain the quality of your harvest. Grain bag storage is a flexible, cost-effective solution for short term storage of bumper yields, provided certain quality control steps are taken. Site preparation, site maintenance, and machine servicing all need to be done properly and timely to ensure your grain holds its quality and value.

Below you’ll find tips on the preparation and maintenance steps required to ensure that grain bagging is a successful storage option for your operation.

Up North Plastic Grain Bag in the field

Site preparation makes for easier maintenance 

Selecting the right site for your grain and production is key. It’s best to select a site that is accessible even when the weather is wet, and located in the open to help deter animals. Once an appropriate site has been found, preparing the site is the first step required to set yourself up for easier maintenance.

First, remove any debris such as sticks or sharp objects, then grade the site and ensure the ground is firmly rolled to prevent the grain bags from sinking or water pooling around them. If possible, spray the site with a rodent deterrent to prevent mice and vermin from burrowing under the bags once laid. If proper preparation is not completed, then the bag may not be impervious to air or liquid and can lead to grain spoiling. 

Site maintenance once bags are laid and full 

The biggest threat to the filled grain bags is animals, especially during the winter months. Snow can create drifts for deer to climb onto the bags, however, using pallets at the ends can deter them. An electric fence, or any sturdy fence, can be used to keep bears and deer away. Year-round, mice pose the biggest risk to the bags as they are known to burrow under, weakening the soil and allowing water to pool, and also chewing through the bag material causing wastage and grain spoilage.

Bird damage is another threat that ongoing site inspections and bag maintenance can help prevent. Birds like to land on the bags, pecking bags to access insects stored within the grain. Using Grain Bag Armor is one of the best methods of preventing bag damage. 

Regular inspections of the bags are needed to ensure no damage from animals, weather, or insects. During wet weather, if the number of mice and vermin are up, then daily bag checks may be required to ensure they stay unharmed. In normal weather conditions, check weekly at a minimum. If there are any punctures, rips, or other damage visible, patching these will prevent moisture from spoiling the grain.

Machine servicing and maintenance

Regular maintenance of Grain Baggers and Grain Extractors helps ensure minimal downtime. Reading and following the manufacturer’s manual is key to keeping these machines in top condition. The manuals describe in detail the following mechanisms and their respective maintenance – the driveline, shear bolts, drive chain tension, and alignment along with the following items needing servicing – fluids and lubricants, auger wear plates, greasing, and servicing intervals. There is also a section on troubleshooting typical issues that can arise such as augers not running, the machine doesn’t move or low unloading capacity.

AgFlex Grain Bag in the field

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Now offering discounted pallet pricing when you buy four or more pallets of grain bags. For more information, talk to one of our agriculture specialists at your nearest Flaman location

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Click here to view the original blog post by our friends at Pro Grain Equipment.

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