Temporary grain storage piles
- Published: Monday, Sept. 8, 2014
Characteristics needed to build a temporary grain storage pile
A grain storage facility can be constructed as either a short-term or long-term storage facility, depending upon whether a grain aeration system is included. Aeration is a necessary component of a grain storage structure to successfully manage grain, so it can be stored for long periods of time. The steps below outline the basics of constructing a covered, grain storage pile system.
- Determine the amount of grain that needs to be stored. Then select the storage capacity needed as well as the geometric dimensions, including the area and depth at the wall.
- Choose a site that is well-drained and relatively flat where all surface water drains away.
- You should have at least a 4- to 6-inch-thick, well-drained granular base or concrete pad to construct the floor or base. If you're uncertain about soil moisture moving up into the grain, install a vapor barrier — such as a 6-mil plastic sheet layer — to minimize moisture movement from soil to grain.
- If you want to include walls, they can be constructed using:
- Large concrete blocks (2 feet by 2 feet by 4–8 feet long) with a maximum height of three blocks, or 6 feet high, because the weight of the blocks is enough to not tip over if the grain height is less than 6 feet.
- Concrete road barriers can be used to develop perimeter walls, but the grain depth at the wall is limited to height of the road barrier.
- Commercially available temporary wall barriers can be used as the perimeter walls of the storage pile. Consult with the manufacturer for installation details and limitations.
- After filling,cover the pile with tarp(s) to protect it from rainwater.
Aerating grain piles
Installing pile aeration allows for a longer grain storage period, and the aeration suction helps hold tarp(s) on the pile. Pile aeration system options include:
- Commercially available wall barrier systems that often incorporate fans and wall inlets for aeration.
- Pipe duct aeration systems, which present challenges with grain removal operations because pipes must be moved as grain is removed.
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