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Tight No Tire Grain Cover
Piles of grain on the Fred Bergstrom farm near Brady, Mont., look neater than piles of grain on most farms. Bergstrom uses a simple technique to hold plastic down on huge piles of grain to seal out moisture without having to pile old tires all over the top.
Bergstrom lays one line of perforated aeration pipe on the ground and then unloads the pile of grain on top of it. When the pile is finished, he covers it with plastic or canvas and seals the outer edge with a couple rows of straw bales. He then installs a small fan on the aeration pipe that draws air from the pile, creating a slight vacuum that holds the plastic tightly to the pile. The plastic doesn't even ripple in a strong wind, says Bergstrom, and the fan is left on 24 hours a day.
Bergstrom's area of Montana is windy and he used to need lots of tires to cover the pile. He says the technique he now uses not only eliminates the need for tires but also the work to handle them. Plus, it does a better job. If the small fan is turned off, the plastic begins rippling in a couple minutes. But it stays in place, even during heavy blows with the fan turned on, says Bergstrom.

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1984 - Volume #8, Issue #3