Farm Silos and Farm Storage Bins – Nigerian and Sub-Saharan Small / Medium sized Farmers

Grain storage is extremely important when it comes the successful marketing and selling of quality grain products. There are many manufacturers of grain silos (storage bins) around the world, with variety of product standards.  

Grain silos were first used by the ancient Greeks in the ancient world. This method has been accepted by the whole world for its easy maintenance and portability 

Grain silos are now being used worldwide. And there are different types of grain silos in the different regions. Grain silos could be made by metal, cement or steel. The metal silos can be stiffened and unstiffen. The  types defer from country to country due to the economic status and weather pattern. 

 When it comes to Sub-Saharan African market, some manufacturers focus highly on profit, and flood the market with substandard bins, while others strive in offering durable bins that can last years. 

Our goal is to provide answers to the most frequently asked questions by people looking to purchase grain storage bins. From those farmers that are considered small and medium size to large scale farmers. Regardless of how you are classified, this information will assist in making an informed decision and consequently protect your grains for several years.  

  1. What are Farm bin storage or Silos? 

A farm bin storage or silo is a structure for storing bulk materials. Silos are used in agriculture to store grain or fermented feed known as silage.  The primary function of a silo is to provide protection from the elements to increase the storage life of the grains. Silos are also a crucial element in the overall operation for the entire system of grain storage 

  1.  What are the advantages of purchasing steel silo? 

Here are some of the advantages of using a steel silo over a bag silo for grain storage: Steel silos keep the grains safe longer. Steel silos can be equipped with complete temperature control and ventilation system that guarantees the maintenance of the grain in good conditions. 

  1.  How do silos work? 

In most silos, gravity causes grain to flow from the top of the silo and out through an opening at the bottom near the center. At that opening, a machine called an auger transports the grain to a vehicle or another grain storage facility. As grain flows through the auger, it forms a funnel shape at the top of the silo. 

  1. What holding capacities are farm silos available in? 

Most American manufacturers of farm silos offers a wide variety of bin sizes with farm bin capacities ranging from 1,846 to 186,194 bushels and commercial bins up to 790,334 bushels 

    5.  Stiffened VS Unstiffened Silos 

Most manufacturers make both the stiffened and unstiffened series of bins/silos. The unstiffened bins are popular in the United States due to the large number of existing unstiffened bins/silos on the farmsteads. They also have lower erection times. 

The stiffened bins generally offer more efficient material usage and will generally have a lower material cost and lower freight cost than the comparable size of unstiffened tank. They also offer the advantage of being available in taller bins / silos than the unstiffened series. In the case of Africa, either bin is ok in preserving grains. 

    6.  Best way to choose a bin 

Regardless of which manufacturer you choose to purchase your bin from, the best way to begin the process is to contact the manufacturer and jointly decide the best scenario for your need. This will largely be dependent upon type of grain being stored as well as the amount. 

Wolé Osilaja

Wolé Osilaja is an Independent Sales Agent specializing on American and African manufactured industrial machinery and products. Facilitating trade between Africa and USA.