South Dakota Farmers Using 500-foot Grain Bags to Store Wheat Crop

In efforts to handle this year’s big wheat crop, South Dakota farmers have been utilizing 500 foot grain bags to store their wheat.

Todd Longville, Kennebec Grain Terminal manager in Kennebec, S.D., said he has seen wheat in the area from 60-100 bushels per acre, averaging about the 75-80 range. It’s a big jump from the 50-60 bushel average they see in a normal year.

“We don’t see 100-bushel wheat a lot around here and we saw it this year,” said Longville.

Weather conditions from the start of the growing season were favorable for wheat, and harvest results followed suit with a big crop.

“We had good wheat conditions this year,” he said. “We had moisture early and not a lot of damp, dewey, drizzly type days. Guys also use fungicide more out here and we didn’t have a lot of weather that causes disease. It was just a good wheat year overall.

”The long grain bags, which are made up of a heavy plastic material, can fit around 30,000 bushels of wheat per bag, allowing farmers an alternative storage method for their crop. The wheat crop was heavy this year, so we were fitting 32,000 bushels in a bag once in a while,” said Longville. “It works pretty well. You just lay them down on the ground and when we need them, we can simply pick them up.”

Longville said he has wheat in bags from a year ago and the bags are still in good shape. He’ll be testing how long they can hold up this year, but he’s confident they’ll hold up.

“I’ve got wheat in there now for 15 months on some of this wheat,” he said. “I’m assuming it’s going to be as it was the day we put it in there.”

He said he prefers the bagging method of storing wheat instead of simply piling the crop on the ground and covering it with a tarp.

“In this situation I know my quality and I can keep track of my protein, test weight, or whatever in a 30,000 bushel bag,” he said. “I can go pick that up and be done with it. If I had a million bushel pile of wheat with a tarp over it and I wanted to start picking wheat up, I’m going to ruin that tarp basically by opening it up. If a windstorm comes through and blows that tarp away, we’re back to having to re-tarp it. With these bags I can pick a few up and be done.”

Longville has noticed more and more farmers using these grain bags throughout the area, mostly because of how easy they are to use.

“You just put a bag in the field, take the grain cart over, and unload on it,” he said. “Farmers like that they don’t need near the amount of trucks at harvest.

They can just take the grain cart and fill the bag. You don’t need as much help.

“There’s a machine that you dump into and it augers the grain into the bag,” Longville continued. “It’s really pretty simple. Probably the most work to this deal is putting the bag on the machine and that’s easy.”

Source: Ryan Crossingham, Salina Journal

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