Agricultural building services cover everything from agricultural irrigation systems to grain handling and storage facilities. Agricultural construction services include grain bin construction, farm and elevator grain systems, small irrigation systems, agricultural steel buildings, grain dryers and complete grain handling systems. These provide equipment and infrastructure for the farmers of the Midwest and across the country.
Grain bins are typically used to store corn, wheat and soybeans. The construction of grain bins and grain handling systems is a highly specialized process and requires skill, knowledge and experience.
A short history of grain bin construction
Storage and handling of grain is an important concern for farmers and the development of grain equipment goes back thousands of years in history. The oldest silos for grain storage are found in the Middle East and dated to five thousand years before Christ. The word silo is derived from the Greek word siros, which means “a pit for holding grain”. Modern silos are in fact not pits but small towers.
The first modern silo, made of wood, was built in 1873 in Illinois. In the U.S., grain bin construction really took off in the late 1950s. The USDA Agriculture Stabilization Committee, which paid farmers to store grain on the farm, triggered a demand for drying and storage. This practice was also encouraged by land grant colleges, leading to the development of businesses specializing in farm and elevator grain systems.
Grain bin construction and repair
The process of grain bin construction begins with the base, which is made of concrete. Pouring concrete for a grain bin is a specialized task and has to be done right for the bin to function properly. The new bin is placed on the concrete base.
Grain bins can be damaged by weather or just wear out over time. They can be repaired, from the foundations to the top. Sometimes the foundation develops cracks or holes. These allow moisture into the bin, which can spoil the grain stored there. Foundations can be repaired and if needed, replaced.
A new use for grain bins
Grain bin construction is sturdy and in recent times, a new use had been discovered for the structures. They are being recycled into use as domestic buildings such as garages, sheds, studios, workshops and even houses. The sturdiness of grain bin construction actually makes them very energy efficient buildings.
Grain bin dwellings are also very economical. Used grain bins cost only a few hundred dollars and new ones a few thousand. Of curse, it take some work to add doors and windows, floors and stairs. Sometimes just the roof can be used.
Grain bin construction provides an essential service for farmers across the country. Along with other agricultural buildings, it forms the backbone of the country’s food supply. As the bumper sticker says, “No farms, no food.” Or could say, “No grain bins, no food.”