Working the land to make a living is very much a game of chance. Farmers and ranchers are often at the mercy of Mother Nature to provide the necessary elements for profitable success.
While there’s no way to control the weather, there are certain steps farmers and ranchers can take to increase the probability that things will work out in their favor. The installation of grain bins as on-site storage solutions is an important one.
The Many Benefits of Grain Bins
In many ways, grain bins have long been a staple of farm and ranch life. As family farms work to thrive across the nation and commercial farming becomes more the standard, these storage solutions are more essential than ever before.
On-site grain bins provide a convenient alternative to working with local grain elevators and merchandisers whose prices frequently fluctuate according to demand. They also provide essential protection from the elements that farmers and ranchers depend on to keep grain in quality condition year-round.
Drying grain can be a costly and time-consuming process. Those who invest in on-site grain bins will cut down on drying time and open up options when it comes to selling in accordance with market fluctuations.
Versatile Bin Options
Traditionally, grain bins were standardized metal structures with little in the way of size variation. Today, the reality is very different.
Farmers and ranchers now enjoy a versatile lineup of grain bin options that range from durable metal structures in varying sizes to lightweight and bulk poly bins. In the modern world of farming and ranching, it’s common for a combination of grain bin styles and structures to work best for operations large and small.
Metal grain bins are often still the preferred choice amongst consumers when it comes to long-term grain storage. The durability of metal surfacing provides the assurance that these structures will pay for themselves over the long-term. Additionally, the ability to add specialized accessories to metal bins such as stiffeners, ladders, and auger kits make it simple to customize a bin according to the needs of a farm or ranch.
Poly bins tend to be excellent choices for feed storage thanks to their semi-translucent façade which provides farmers and ranchers with a clear view of refill levels. Smooth poly surfaces prevent grain clogging and are far lighter in weight than their metal counterparts.
Farmers and ranchers will find that both metal and poly bins provide an exceptional level of successful storage whether they’re looking to place seeds, grains, or pellets. Having these options available allows for fitting your on-site storage needs to your specific land requirements.
More to Consider
The weather and the market may fluctuate but having grain bins right on-site means farmers and ranchers never have to worry about adjusting their prices to meet the demands of communal storage. It’s also important to consider the fact that access to on-site grain bins means more freedom when it comes to determining a profitable harvest schedule.
When you’re ready to install a collection of grain bins on your farm or ranch, you might even see significant benefits within your tax bracket. In many cases, grain bins can be claimed as an expense against income.
Here’s a great article from the Wall Street Journal about the complexities of measuring and trading in bushels. We all use the term frequently when describing grain bin capacities, but when using the term to trade large quantities or set commodity prices, the actual calculations become quite involved and the quantity traded can become pretty ‘abstract’ as described in the article below.
Picture of a bushel of soybeans
Prices of agricultural commodities are quoted that way, even though many have never actually come across the baskets; ‘kind of an abstract amount’
Soybean prices have long been quoted in bushels at the Chicago Board of Trade.
Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press
Trade tensions between the U.S. and China this year have caused gyrations in soybean prices, which recently climbed above $9 a bushel. They also have people buried in soybean math.
Prices of agricultural commodities have for decades been quoted in bushels at the Chicago Board of Trade, yet many traders and farmers have never actually come across soybeans in the quaint wooden basket that has existed for centuries.
“Most people haven’t seen a bushel basket—I never have,” said Anthony Stinton, a soybean meal trader in Greeley, Colo. Scrawled on a yellow sticky note on his computer is a formula he punches into a calculator multiple times a day to convert metric tons of soybeans grown in Brazil into their American bushel equivalent. “It’s kind of an abstract amount,” Mr. Stinton said.
A bushel of soybeans is roughly enough dry beans to fill eight gallons or 2,150.42 cubic inches of space, the capacity of a traditional bushel basket. That is the equivalent of 60 pounds of soybeans. In the Bible, bushels were used as containers for grains, seeds, and flour. At farm stands and markets, bushels can be found filled with apples, crabs, and raw vegetables. The phrase “a bushel and a peck” is fairly well-known thanks to a popular “Guys and Dolls” song. (A peck is a quarter of a bushel or eight quarts.)
commodity conversion rate formulas
Trader Anthony Stinton keeps the conversion rates for soybeans and corn stuck to his computer. Photo: Anthony Stinton
In the commodities world, they are a mathematical headache. Ariel Haendler, global head of soybean trading at Chinese state-owned trading giant Cofco International, said he always carries a calculator when he attends strategy discussions with colleagues and uses it to convert metric weights into bushels. (1 metric ton of soybeans = 36.74 bushels.)
During those meetings, there is “always a 10-second break when we make these big calculations on these calculators going back and forth like we’re in the fourth grade,” said the Swiss-based American trader. Even though Mr. Haendler has the formula memorized, getting the numbers wrong could be potentially costly, he added.
To help market participants with their math, CME Group Inc., which operates the Chicago Board of Trade, has a 44-page pocket guide that includes scores of weight-conversion tables for a range of commodities.
For example, it recommends that to convert 11,000 metric tons of soybeans to bushels, users can simply add the conversions for 10,000 metric tons (367,437 bushels) and 1,000 metric tons (36,744 bushels) to get a total of 404,181 bushels of soybeans. Each soybean futures contract is made up of 5,000 bushels.
On the Scott family farm in Delphi, Ind., there isn’t a bushel to be found. “It’s just an idea in our head,” says Brian Scott, who grows soybeans with his father and grandfather along with corn and wheat. “We think in bushels but they don’t measure in bushels,” he said.
Brian Scott grows soybeans on the family farm in Indiana. Photo: Brian Scott
Instead, trucks are filled to the brim with commodities and sent to a depot to be weighed before the produce is sold to trading firms. ”When you deliver, they measure in pounds,” Mr. Scott said, noting they give a receipt with a bushel measurement too. One truckload of beans weighs roughly 1,000 bushels, he says.
America remains an outlier holding on to the old imperial, or U.S. customary system, of pounds and acres when the rest of the world has largely shifted to the metric system of kilograms and hectares. Other countries that use the imperial system include Liberia and Myanmar. In addition to bushels, the U.S. also uses pecks and lugs, which are wooden boxes of no standard size.
Traders say the challenge with bushels is that they are a measurement of volume, so the weight of whatever is in it varies depending on the commodity. While soybeans and wheat weigh roughly the same, corn is slightly lighter.
“If I take the price of Chicago wheat and I want to know what it means for the rest of the world, I multiply it by 36.7437,” said Chris Bird, a senior global wheat trader at Engelhart Commodities Trading Partners, without missing a beat. As he has to do the conversion 20 or 30 times a day, “I have it set up on my screen to do it but honestly, I could almost do it in my head,” he added.
He wasn’t so quick with commodities he doesn’t trade. “Corn is 39 something-something-something…” Mr. Bird said. “It’s very random.”
There’s also confusion between Canadian and U.S. bushels, which have different capacities. The latter is also known as the Winchester bushel—named after a British town—first mentioned in law in the 17th century and was defined as a barrel that is 18-1/2 inches wide and 8 inches deep. The measurement was abolished by the English in 1835, a year before the U.S. Department of Treasury adopted it as a unit of measure.
picture of a bushel
The Winchester bushel, named for a British town, dates back centuries. Photo: SSPL/Getty Images
FarmLead, a Canadian-based online marketplace for soybeans, wheat, and other commodities trades, has a calculator on its website for customers to convert pounds, tons, or other measures to American bushels. The soybeans currently for sale on its site are stored in a flat bottom bin.
Before deals are done, people often need to “scribble out their math” or “double-check the conversion” to make sure buyers and sellers are talking about the same amounts, said Alain Goubau, the company’s chief operating and financial officer. At the end of the day, traders have little choice but to hew to the American system, he said, adding: “It comes down to—do you want to be right or do you want to do business?”
Brian Rohrig’s hog farm outside Des Moines, Iowa, sometimes uses physical bushels made of aluminum to measure soybean meal before it is mixed into feed for the pigs.
The bushel baskets are a decent volume gauge, said Mr. Rohrig, but there’s one downside: they are much heavier than a five-gallon pail. The machine his farm uses to mix animal feed now has its own weighing scale, so there is less need for the bushels, he added.
loading soybeans into a truck
Soybeans were unloaded onto a truck in Illinois. Photo: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg News
BarnWorld.com, the online mega-store for livestock supplies like cattle guards and hay feeders, has expanded its already extensive selection to include a line of polyethylene plastic products.
The new large selection expands the wide range of farm and ranch supplies including bulk grain bins, lick feeders, mineral feeders, calf nurseries, and feeders.
The calf nursery line is designed with superior ventilation to separate calves, promote healthy lung growth, prevent disease and allow the calf to develop to its fullest potential.
“BarnWorld.com is always looking for better, animal-friendly products and suppliers to increase the selection available to customers,” said Rob Moore, owner of Barn World. “Environmentally friendly, polyethylene products are the future of livestock supplies.”
“Greater selection helps customers get exactly what they need at a fair price. We are always available by phone to help customers choose the right size bulk grain bins, hay feeders, mineral feeders, and cattle guards for the type of livestock they are working with.”
Polyethylene plastic is a great choice for livestock items. The material is impact resistant and can withstand both temperature extremes and corrosive chemicals. Polyethylene has an easy-to-clean, slippery surface and can be recycled. Products are mostly one piece with no sharp edges or seams to injure livestock. Polyethylene is also lightweight, making products easier to move and less expensive to ship.
The polyurethane bulk grain bins are particularly well-suited to high moisture materials like corn and soybeans.
Barn World, your online livestock supply and cattle guard headquarters. Call (720) 238-2190 or visit www.barnworld.com today!
Barn World now carries a large selection of Poly Grain Bins.
Poly Grain Bins are a fantastic feed bin design and are perfect for handling high moisture soybeans, corn, and granular materials. These feed bins are polyethylene bins constructed with high-density polyethylene so they won’t corrode or rust. and will always be attractive and clean.
Grain Bin Description
The interior surface is a very smooth two-piece construction that reduces bridging. There are no rivets and grain-clogging seams to contend with. The translucent polyethylene allows you to visually check the material line from the outside.
All of our plastic grain bins have a 22″ top opening with a hinged, vented filler cap and a pull rope that allows ground control for filling.
Feed Bin Collars
There are three different transition collars available for the slide valves– 90°, 45°, and 30° angles. (See Accessories on page 18.) The new style collar allows easier attachment to the bottom cone with little or no cutting necessary. Our slides feature a galvanized plate and guide system. Our auger boots will attach to any of our slide valves and handle 4″ or 6″ augers. The auger boots have a cleanout access cover.
The poly grain bins have a 16″ hole in the bottom cone and come in a variety of sizes:
Grain Bin Size Chart
The distance from the bottom of the lip of the bottom slide valve to the ground is 13″.
Size Specification Chart
.5 (bottom only)
Features of the Poly Grain Bin
The .8 ton bin has 38″ of ground clearance to the slide valve.
The 1.5, 2.5, and 3.5-ton bins have 15″ ground clearance under the slide valves.
The 4.5, 6.5, and 8.5-ton bins have 14″ ground clearance under the 90° slide valve; and 11″ ground clearance under the 30° slide.
The Poly Bulk Feed Bins feature heavy-duty support frames with extra-large secure plates for more holding power. They have flat strap cross bracing for increased stability. The .5 – 3.5-ton units come standard with 4 legs; the 4.5 thru 8.5-ton units have 6 legs. The legs have large support tabs which can be bolted to concrete for added stability, especially on the larger units.
All of the plastic grain bins at Barn World have a sturdy ladder with a slip guard. It is braced securely to the top of the tank near the filler cap.
All hardware is supplied and the erection time is one-third of steel bins. The top cone section bolts to the bottom and then the legs are assembled before standing up.
Frames have a baked-on polyester powder coat finish that resists corrosion.
It is recommended that you use a concrete pad at least 5 1/2″ thick for our 4.5 ton thru 8.5-ton units. The foundation needs to be able to support not only the load in the bin but also high winds when the weather gets gusty.
Please visit BarnWorld today and change out not only the bins, but the wide variety of farm supplies, ranch supplies, and equestrian supplies made by American manufacturers. Our best-selling items are hay feeders, cattle guards, feed bins, saddle pads, mineral feeders, livestock scales, and many livestock supplies.
These feed bins are ideal for use as feed bins, storing corn for burning stoves, various grain pellets, bulk seed, or anything you need saved and easily dispensed. They come with a hopper collar and slide valve for easy dispensing.
Mini Feed Bins from Barn World offer hobby farmers a great feed bin storage option.
Small Feed Bin Details
With the increasing popularity of corn-burning stoves, the mini bin offers a solution for storing the corn needed to burn those stoves
Ideal as a feed bin for small hobby farms
Works well for range cubes – approx. 3/4″ round and 2″ long
Not everyone needs a high-capacity grain bin. A lot of people have small amounts of feed they need to store, dispense and manage and don’t need a giant bin hulking on their property. They just want something they can use to feed with buckets and not motorized augers.
For this purpose, much smaller and more manageable feed bins are desired.
Small Feed Bins
These great little bins will dispense almost any loose material. They are popular for storing heating pellets, bulk seed, corn, and yes of course grain.
These bands are sealed tight to keep out bugs and moisture. The poly material contains a UV inhibitor and it’s designed to be used Outdoors year-round the large slide valve is big enough for range cubes and enlarger granules. Simply pull the steel handle and the plate slides open and allows you to control the flow of grain into a bucket. A paragraph please note that an auger is not available with this Bend, 4 lower volume use. The roof and lid are both made of polyethylene well the walls are made from galvanized steel. The large lid locks down so it won’t blow up and prevents any rain or moisture from entering the bin.
These bins are very easy to install. To keep shipping costs low, they ship unassembled and only require minimal skills to put together. Here is a diagram of the larger 65-bushel bin fully assembled.
To get a sense of how it’s done, click on one of the assembly manuals below:
The bins allow large-size materials to pass through the manual slide valve at the bottom. This works great for managing all types of materials, not just animal feed.
A lot of homes burn pellets for heat. This includes corn and pellets designed specifically for burning in a stove. When using this system a method of storing and dispensing is made easy with the small feed bin.
It keeps the pellets or corn dry and protected from moisture and allows for manual dispensing to a bucket set under the bin.
The mini-feed bin is great for filling buckets and feeding animals by hand. It’ll also dispense range cubes as large as 3/4″ round by 2″ long. The large locking lid opens very wide for easy filling and its smaller size makes it very manageable.
There are two different available sizes. Each bin is 5′ in diameter and the extra capacity is created by adding a second steel ring wall section. The diameter remains the same but it adds 2′ to the overall height
As mentioned above, the bins ship unassembled on a pallet to keep shipping costs low. We can ship them around the country and if you’d like a quote with delivery right to your door, just let us know and we’ll forward one for your review.
Grain bins provide efficient efficient management and storage for all types of feed and other loose materials. The heavy-duty construction protects the elements in rodents alike.
These are high-capacity bins that are commonly found throughout the United States. They offer large storage capacities and heavy-duty construction for use almost anywhere.
Barn World has a large selection of both metal grain bins and poly in a variety of sizes. Whether you need 108-bushel capacity or 975, there is one for you!
Metal Bulk Feed Bin Design
These heavy-duty steel grain bins are built to hold High capacities of loose material outdoors year-round. It stores and protects from the elements, pests, and rodents alike.
Below is a partial diagram of an assembled bin for review. Note the steel wall seams have overlap drip guards and won’t let water into the bin. This design culminates in a 16″ diameter opening at the bottom of the hopper sections.
This allows a multitude of attachments such as manual slide valves and motorized augers for unloading.
The waving bends in the steel walls are there to create additional vertical strength. The walls have a 4″ wide corrugation that adds an estimated 25% increase in strength over a wall without corrugation. The corrugation also creates a release point for free-flowing. The waves of the Steal reduce the downward resistance on stored material and help reduce any bridging or ‘hanging up on the interior of the walls.
The G-90 Steel
G-90 is a designation for the finish that coats the steel. It refers to the amount of zinc that remains on the material after a hot dip in zinc. The 90 means that there is a minimum of .90 oz. of zinc per square foot. This provides excellent protection from corrosion and rust and allows the bins to be used exclusively outdoors, year-round.
Top lid that can be controlled while standing on the ground via a lever. Simply pull the lever, and it opens can you fill the bin without ever leaving the ground.
The lids have a vent built into them to release hot air and moisture that may build up inside.
The bins are built by assembling them on their sides and then standing upright. A cement pad is used to anchor the legs to the ground to prevent tipping in high winds when empty.
Small grain bins can be used to store and manage not only feed, but all types of loose material that’s used around your farm, ranch or even your home. They’re handy for storing and distributing smaller amounts of feed, pellets or corn used for heating your house and really distributing any loose material.
Although we carry and distribute a lot of the larger metal grain bins, sometime you just don’t need that much capacity or have room for that kind of storage. This smaller bin is much more manageable, is easy to assemble and will easily dispense into buckets with the included manual slide valve.
Small Feed Bin Uses and Benefits
The bin is ideal for a lot of different loose material storage and dispensing. Below are benefit and uses for this smaller bin size.
Variety of storage possibilities – corn, heating pellets, animal feed bulk seed or any bulk material really.\bulk seed or anything you need
Pellet burning stoves require corn or pellet storage and this bin is perfect for it.
Small feed bin for smaller feeding and storage requirements.
Range cube storage – great for large cubes that are 3/4″ round and 2″ long
Capacities include 40 bushel (2,240 pounds) and 65 bushel (3,640 pounds)
Keeps material or feed protected from moisture, elements and bugs.
Feed bin is constructed of galvanized steel
Load feed through the lid on top of bin
The bin is available in both and 65 bushel capacity. The diameters are the same for both at five feet but the larger bin is two feet taller at 10′ overall. It weighs approximately 114 pounds more and uses the same poly boot and slide valve for manual dispensing.
Below is a diagram of the assembled 65 bushel bin that is really the 40 bushel with an extra horizontal ring added to it.
Small Grain Bin Specifications
Below are the dimensions and capacities for each size bin. Note the diameters are the same, it’s just the overall height that increase to provide room for the additional capacity.
Visit Barn World today for a quote with shipping right to your door or call (720) 238-2190 and we’ll be happy to help on the phone!
Bulk grain storage is a necessity when working with large quantities of feed. Traditional metal grain bins been around for decades and are traditionally thought of as the standard in the industry. New polyethylene materials have made the plastic grain bin design a stout competitor to metal.
Benefits of a Poly Grain Bin
Large poly grain bins are a great choice for handling high moisture materials such as soybeans and corn. The high density polyethylene is translucent so unlike its metal counterpart, you may see the levels remaining in the bin at a quick glance.
The walls are created with a UV treated, high density material that is 3/16 inches thick. It will never corrode and is impervious to rusting you can expect long life out of these bins.
The simple assembly is also major improvement over the metal grain bin design. Typically, the metal bins are made up of corrugated sheets of steel that require many nuts and bolts to assemble. This poly design includes one upper and lower section that bolt together in the middle. It’s like putting one ice cream cone on top of another and makes assembly quick and easy.
Assembled Grain Bin
This design also creates a smooth interior wall all the way to the hopper which helps reduce bridging. The lack of bolts coming through to the interior of the bin eliminates any flow issues.
Grain Bin Options
These large bins are of course available with an optional auger system is a mechanical means of unloading is required. The auger attaches to a collar and unloading boot just like the metal bins. Auger lengths go all the way up to 6 inches in diameter and a maximum of 21 feet in length.
They come standard with a ladder, a ground operated bin lid and the choice of manual slide valves if desired.
When buying a new, take a look at our poly grain bins and let us know if we can put together a quote for your review.
Our bulk grain bins offer safe, dry feed storage and are available in 6′, 7′ and 9′ diameter sizes. All grain bins have 4″ wide corrugation reduces the resistance to downward flow of feed, feed hang-up and bridging. Industry test have proven that wide corrugation gives 25%more vertical strength than narrow corrugation, and almost twice the strength of bins with no corrugation. Wider corrugation results in wider bin sheets, thereby increasing capacity. The same width corrugated bin holds more bushels than a narrow corrugated bin.