Snowblower Moves Grain

When Arnold Thompson, and his sons Jack and Jim, had to move large piles of grain stored in on the ground after harvest they used their tractor-mounted snowblowers.

"We almost bought a vacuum-powered grain mover but decided to try this first. It's unbelievable how much grain we moved with our snowblowers and when we were through, it looked almost as though the ground had been vacuumed," says Arnold.

The Thompsons raise about 3,000 acres of small grain and, unlike many surrounding areas, they had a terrific crop last year with barley yields averaging between 70 and 80 bu. per acre. Custom operators harvested the grain faster than they could load it into bins so 50,000 bu. of grain was piled on the ground.

To get the grain into storage, the Thompsons used a couple augers and two snowblowers. The 3-pt. mounted, two-stage Deere snowblower on their tractor moved the bulk of the grain and a small blower on on their 16-hp Deere garden tractor helped do cleanup. They never used a shovel.

"We just kept blowing the grain toward the augers. The tractor snowblower will keep two 8-in. augers going. It doesn't cause any damage to the grain that we could notice and doesn't put any strain on the tractor," says Arnold.

Besides handling grain piles, the Thompsons have also used snowblowers to load grain into flat storage. "We dump rain into the middle of our quonset building and then blow it against the sides with the snowblower."

The Thompsons say they've only used the idea on barley and aren't sure if it would also work on corn, soybeans, and other crops. Both snowblowers have auger-type blowers.