How to plan a Silo Project (pdf)




  1. Planning an on-farm grain storage complex
  2. Site selection
  3. Selecting a silo
  4. Summary: Silo Selection
    • How many grain types grades would you handle?
    • What quality silo am I offered? How is this evaluated? Inspect and research:
    • Who do I deal with and who is the erector?
    • How important is price?
    • What types of flat bottom silos are there?
  5. How do I compare prices?
  6. Selecting an aeration system
  7. Silo foundation options & the installation process
  8. Silo floor options:
    • Flat bottom silos.
    • Conical Silos
  9. Grain drying options
  10. Flat storage:
  11. Safety
  12. Finally:

On-farm grain storage is a viable concept that has been well proven in all major grain producing countries around the world – especially where de-regulation of the grain industry has occurred.

In the USA, most grain is stored on-farm or in country elevators and in Australia a similar situation exists. The extend of on- farm storage in South Africa is not known but is increasing rapidly and has probably kept up with the increase in grain volume produced over the past 20 years since Co-operative storage has not increased significantly since the early 1980’s.

In outlining a model, the initial purpose for storing grain should be reconciled from the start with a change in this purpose ie. while it may typically be the goal to use a grain silo complex as flow-through system only in Year 1, circumstances may force a change to this goal in Year 5 and the complex layout should be flexible enough to accommodate this change. This implies immediately that the site should be suitable to accommodate such future requirements. A rule of thumb is to evaluate present needs, then add possible growth over 3-5 years, then double the volume of grain handled and re-plan for this expanded need.