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How To Convert Harvestores To On-Farm Grain Storage
When Michigan farmer Mark Hinterman sold his dairy cattle in 1993 and went solely into grain farming, his Harvestores didn’t go unused for long. Hinterman converted two 20 by 70-ft. blue tubes to each hold 18,000 bu. of grain and a 20 by 50-ft. silo into 12,500 bu. storage for cooling grain after the dryer. “It was no easy job, but it was well worth the investment,” says Hinterman.
  He purchased 3 silo-to-grain storage conversion kits from Sukup Manufacturing that included an aerated floor, a centrifugal fan and a sweep auger for each silo. The kits also had all the hardware needed to transition the silos from feed to grain use without cutting, drilling or compromising the structural integrity of the Harvestores.
  “First we removed the silage unloading components and the air bag near the roof,” Mark says. “We put the sweepway into the existing trench in the concrete slab, then installed the aeration floor on the Z post supports. We had to cut the aeration planks to fit tight against the silo walls, then seal that opening around the inner wall with a flange and caulk.” All components for the conversion fit through the main door opening in the base of the silos.
  Hinterman uses the smaller 20 by 50 ft. Harvestore as a holding bin to cool grain after it comes out of the dryer. He averages about 600 to 700 bu. an hour drying capacity. Aeration fans in the cooling silo run 24/7. Grain is screened after the dryer to remove fines. The cool grain flows into a pit where a grain leg transfers to either of the larger silos or 3 metal bins that hold 175,000 bu.
  Sukup supplied the 3,500 rpm centrifugal fans to aerate deep grain with high static pressure. Hinterman added a temperature cable and monitor that hangs from the top of each silo into the grain to monitor temperature at 6-ft. intervals. To increase unloading efficiency Mark added an 8-in. galvanized pipe from the center of the cooling bin silo to the outside wall. It slopes down and into a pit outside the silo and allows him to unload up to 3,000 bu. an hour with just simple gravity. The pipe is grounded to protect against static buildup. Mark says he only uses the electric-powered auger to unload the last 2,000 to 3,000 bu. from the silo.
  Electrical controls for operating the grain system are housed in an 8 by 10-ft. room that he built between two of the silos. The silos also have metral bracing that supports the 110-ft. tall grain leg. Mark says the $6,000 he spent for each conversion kit was a good investment because the cost for new grain bins that size would’ve been about $1.25 a bu. to build.
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Mark Hinterman, 2548 E. Garrison Rd., Durand, Mich. 48429 (ph 517 719-2869; shinterman@hotmail.com).

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2014 - Volume #38, Issue #5