Why should you store your grain yourself?

A photo showing a farm silo in South Africa

A Silo Complex in South Africa

Farm storage has become more popular over the past 20 years in the South African context – where farmers have been putting up more and more of these on-farm storage silos for the following reasons:

  1. To become more independent from the large agricultural companies – by being able to take their grain to market at a time and a price that is convenient for the farmer
  2. By being able to store a portion of their grain for their own use – most farmers are mixed use – being both crop farmers and cattle or sheep – so the farmers is able to keep a portion of his crop back – safely without the risk of storage losses – to feed his own animals during winter or to improve their condition
  3. To save on transportation costs – instead of having the cost of transporting the grain from the farm to the silos in the nearest town, the grain can be stored on the farm itself, and then the buyer of the grain will send his own trucks to collect the grain from the farm – basically cutting out the entire transport cost for the farmer.
  4. To be able to get the crop off the field quicker and with less waiting time – saving time and money. The biggest complaint from farmers delivering to large silo complexes during harvest season is the waiting time at the silos – where their trucks are standing in line, waiting for their loads to be graded and unloaded into the silos – precious time that puts a hold on the harvesting rate on the farm – costing extra time and extra money – the quicker the farmer can get the crop off of the field, at the time that is right for him – the better his yield will be, and the quicker he’ll have his money in the bank.
  5. The silo projects are easily financeable with traditional bank loans or with rent to own financing options making initial capital expenses much lower and the project much more viable.
  6. The payback of capital with the savings on just the above 3 factors are on average 5 years. After that the farmer laughs all the way to the bank.

ABC Hansen has been putting up on-farm grain storage facilities for farmers in sub-Saharan Africa for the past 16 years – helping farmers and grain traders becoming more efficient and more independent.

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