Doors changed to improve storage on grain bins

Farm Forum

The new Farm Bill has extended opportunities for farmers for on-farm storage. One of the companies offered this information about what they are seeing this spring.

Can you tell me if Superior Inc. is seeing increased demand?

Demand for Superior bins has steadily increased over the past few years as word has spread about the quality, durability and the service we provide. In terms of immediate impacts from the passage of the Farm Bill, we haven’t seen anything notable yet. However, many producers were waiting to see what the final legislation would look like and what it would mean for their operations before committing to any capital improvements, so we expect that will drive some demand. We also expect programs like the Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Development Program and provisions that continue crop insurance and expand international market development to give many producers confidence to increase their on-farm storage capacities.

With the price of steel, are grain bins more or less economical to install?

The price of steel has steadily increased over the past 10 years, and we expect that trend to continue. Given that, it makes sense to invest in a bin sooner rather than later. Grain bins are always a great investment and almost all users see a return on investment within three years. Producers are able to condition grain while storing it on their farms, and that results in less dockage, better yields and greater revenue in each bushel. In our experience, if you hold your grain in a bin until springtime, you are going to average about 50 cents more per bushel than you would using an elevator. That represents a nearly immediate return on investment.

Is there a backlog in waiting to get them put up?

Right now we’re looking at around three months from the date of an order until the bin is up and ready to store grain.

Are there changes in accessories to help with safety and grain moisture?

We’ve focused on several bin components that make a big difference. First, we’ve redesigned what has been a common weak point that can lead to lost grain – the door. We’ve added weight to our doors to ensure they won’t bend or collapse from the weight of grain. Superior doors are the heaviest available, and they’re setting a new standard in the industry. We also replaced the latches on our doors with a one-lever inner door operation, which makes opening and closing easier. We upgraded the unload system in the power sweep of our bins, as well. It is now safer than ever to start, run and turn-off the cycle, all from the outside of the bin.

As for future developments, we are testing a back plate that will make our bins stronger and add more capacity by pushing into the grain pile instead of flexing outwards, which decreases bin capacity.

Information provided by Trever Meier, director of sales and marketing at Superior Manufacturing, Kindred, N.D. Superior manufactures a complete line of grain storage, handling and conditioning equipment for commercial farmers, smaller farm operations and ranches. He grew up in southwestern North Dakota and worked his family’s farm before accepting his first sales position. He has worked in sales in retail and manufacturing sectors for 12 years.