Thursday, July 12, 2012

Emptying Silo Bags of Wheat

Farmer Phil and Ryan are still emptying the bags of wheat from harvest last year.  We have a local grain merchant who is exporting it straight to China on ships so it's just a matter of getting the grain out of the bags, and putting it into our two silos at home where we can sift any wet grain or chunks that have formed in the last 7/8 months, and then auger it into the truck and drive it 7km to the bulk handler.

Sound simple?!  Not really!!  Just ask Farmer Phil how much hassle this type of temporary grain storage has been when we had over 9 inches of rain in one week fall onto bags which were damaged by foxes and kangaroos putting holes in them!  The rain leaked in and made a mess with some of the bags and it's been a bit of an ordeal to get the good grain out.  We had to use an industrial vacuum cleaner to separate and suck out the good grain in a couple of the bags.

 As the tractor reverses the machine, the bag is cut by a heated wire attached to the auger.  There is a sweep auger that goes inside the bag which then augers the grain up into the chase bin along side.

 As the tractor pushes the machine backwards it rolls up the emptied bag onto a spindle which is released when the whole bag is emptied.  The bag is then cut up into manageable pieces and thrown away.

The grain bags are an easy solution at harvest time when you've got grain coming out of your ears and the trucks can't keep up with carting it away, so we set up the bagging machine to keep the grain away from the headers so they can keep working.  Normally we like to have all the bags empty by March, but this year it was a lot harder to sell the wheat, and then we had an unheard of amount of rain fall in one week so you couldn't even drive near the bags in the ute without getting bogged!  Then cropping was in full swing, so the bags were put into the "too hard" basket for a while.

Not sure what the solution is other than spending more money to put up extra silos at home to cart to when the bulk handlers are either full or closed overnight.  Just another hurdle to jump over as a grain producer!


Annie @ My White Homestead said...

Gee whiz!! I never knew how much work went into grain harvesting - you make sure you gets lots of sleep Annie xo

farmerpj said...

Wow Donna, this is a very familiar sounding story. I did exactly the same thing last year with peas in a silo bag. We too had an unheard of 5inches of rain overnight one night. We too had water leak into the bag where foxes/mice/maybe kangaroos had damaged it. We too put unloading it on hold until after seeding. We too used and industrial vaccuum to empty it. We did also have quite alot of trouble with the silo bag unloader we hired. I'm thinking I probably wont use silo bags again.