A farmer has the following storage options:
- Deliver the crop immediately to the miller/processor
- Use silo bags
- Erect your own silos
- Make use of commercial silos off-farm.
The commercial silo owners offer producers, traders, buyers and processors a range of facilities such as:
- A time solution (by extended storage periods)
- A choice of locations (extensive geographic distribution)
- Balance sheet (crops serve as collateral)
- Grid linkage (through road or rail transport)
- Managing surpluses (through timely bin allocation)
- Preservation (compliance with food safety and food hygiene requirements)
- Security (extensive protection of commodities in storage)
- Standardisation (by applying grading regulations)
- Maintaining quality (through frequent inspections and preventative procedures)
- Regulatory compliance (adhering to all required legislation) Variety of products (GMO-free, good milling quality, high oil etc.)
Source: Agbiz Grain
The advantages of on-farm grain storage are many, including the following:
- The producer is adding value to his grain.
- By cleaning and proper storage of his own grain, the producer can convert a previous cost item only into a small cost portion and a large asset portion.
- After five years, a quality grain silo is paid for at roughly the same rate as central storage would have cost with the remaining 25 – 35 years; only the relative small operational and maintenance cost remains.
- Large savings on transport can be realised.
- Easier, automated logistics in the case of flow-through bins.
- Proper grading and in the case of wheat for instance, blending up or down can realise huge additional revenue. Own cleaning of grain results in the producer retaining the screenings for feed and avoiding the penalty. Ensuring grain is delivered at the right moisture allows several percent higher realisation.
- Grain can be stored for longer periods at lower cost, thereby taking full advantage of the time value of grain.
The only qualification to these advantages is that a proper, low risk system be installed.
Source: ABC Hansen
International business environment
- Visit the website of Grain Elevator and Processing Society (GEAPS), www.geaps.com
- The International Production Assessment Division (IPAD) of the USDA-FAS provides global crop condition assessments and estimates of area, yield, and production for grains, oilseeds, and cotton – https://ipad.fas.usda.gov/
A previous Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO)-World Bank report, entitled Missing Food: The Case of Postharvest Grain Losses in Sub-Saharan Africa, estimated the value of grain losses in sub-Saharan Africa at around $4-billion a year (FAO, 2011). Find this and other reports on the importance of effective grain storage (to reduce the losses and boost the continent’s food security) at www.fao.org.
Local business environment
Commercial grain silo owners provide storage facilities (grain silos) for the safe and hygienic care of grains and oilseeds for the owners thereof. The facilities have to adhere to the regulations and requirements of the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development and Department of Health regarding food safety.
A total storage capacity of about 17 million tons is available throughout the production areas in South Africa for the handling and storage of summer grains (white maize, yellow maize and sorghum), winter cereals (wheat, barley, oats and rye) and oilseeds (sunflower seed, soy beans and canola).
Commercial grain silos offer services like the following:
- Grading at intake and out loading
- Find the full list of services at http://agbizgrain.co.za. A map of Agbiz Grain members’ permanent grain storage structures (in interactive electronic format on the Google Earth platform) is also available on the same website.
- Maritz J. 2021, June 2. “The significant role of storage in the grain supply chain”. Oilseeds Focus, p. 38. Available at www.opot.co.za/imgs/oilseeds-focus/2021/oilseeds-focus-vol-7-no-2-june-2021.pdf
Find all legislation which applies to the grain and oilseeds industry at http://agbizgrain.co.za.
- The storage of grain features in both the Fetsa Tlala and Agri-Parks programmes of government.
- In a November 2017 report back, the then Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries said that it was working with the different grain commodity organisations to develop a suite of financial models (production, processing and Research and Development) with state guarantees/incentives. Included in this was a plan to formalise the integration of smallholder farmers in the grains value chain through South African Futures Exchange 10-ton Black Economic Empowerment White Maize contracts for smallholder farmers producing grain (Parliamentary Monitoring Group, 2017).
Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD) Find information on the different directorates by taking the “Branches” option at www.dalrrd.gov.za Two of these are listed below.
- Directorate: Food Safety and Quality Assurance, Manager: Agronomy and Vegetables Tel: 012 319 6334
- Directorate: Agricultural Statistics, Tel: 012 319 8454 DAS [at] dalrrd.gov.za
Perishable Products Export Control Board (PPECB) Tel: 021 930 1134 www.ppecb.com
Department of Health Tel: 012 395 8000 / 9000 www.health.gov.za
Read about requirements for Food Business Operators (FBOs) at http://fbo.dalrrd.gov.za. This is a prerequisite for packhouses, processing plants, exporters, grain storage facilities, retailers and municipal markets.
- Agbiz GRAIN Tel: 012 807 3002 www.agbizgrain.co.za Agbiz Grain supports and promotes the interests of members through representation and liaison with major role players in the grain value chain and related service providers.
- Grain Handling Organisation of Southern Africa (GOSA) Tel: 082 042 3890 http://grainorgsa.co.za
- The Road to Rail (R2R) Task Team is a logistics strategy group. Contact Agbiz Grain. See www.agbizgrain.co.za.
Training and research
Training is identified as part of the strategy to be a world-class player. Training in the silo industry includes the following courses:
- Silo operating
- Silo maintenance
- Stock management
- Personnel management
- General administration
Find information about the AgriSETA-accredited Grain Depot Manager Occupational Qualification at https://agbizgrain.co.za/en/training/grain-depot-manager-occupational-qualification
Other courses include National Certificate: Grain handling processes, National Certificate: Grain Handling Processes 2 and National Certificate: Grain Milling. Find details under “Skills Delivery” at www.agriseta.co.za.
Learnerships and apprenticeships are a combination of on-the-job learning along with some theoretical training. The major part of the training can be offered on the farm. Find information on learnerships in the “Agricultural education & training” article, or at www.agriseta.co.za (under “Skills delivery” option).
ARC-Plant Protection Research (PPR) www.arc.agric.za
- ARC-PPR activities include research on fungal contamination, insect pests and rodent infestation of grain in bulk storage, mills and small-scale farming systems. Contact the Stored Grain and Oil Seed Research Unit at 012 808 8000 / 217 or write to KirstenF [at] arc.agric.za.
Grain Quality and Arbitration Services (GQAS) http://grainquality.co.za
- Gert Delport Tel: 012 329 0064 / 083 227 8163
Grain Training Institute www.gtinstitute.co.za
- Hendrik van Aswegen Tel: 071 312 7413
Pest Management Academy http://pestmanagementacademy.com
- Henk Pottas Tel: 0861 99 99 00 – Fumigation training
Providers of silo equipment also facilitate training in grain storage and handling.
Commercial grain storage owners
- AFGRI Tel: 011 063 2347 www.afgri.co.za
- Allem Brothers Tel: 056 343 3111 http://allems.biz
- BKB GrainCo Tel: 021 807 8900 www.grainco.co.za
- GWK Tel: 053 298 8200 www.gwk.co.za
- Kaap Agri Tel: 022 931 8205 www.kaapagri.co.za
- NTK Agriculture Tel: 014 719 9192 / 9211 www.ntk.co.za
- NWK Tel: 018 633 1000 www.nwk.co.za
- Obaro Tel: 012 252 3778 / 012 381 2800 www.mgk.co.za
- Oos Vrystaat Kaap Bedryf (OVK) Tel: 051 923 4500 www.ovk.co.za
- Overberg Agri Tel: 028 214 3813 www.overbergagri.co.za
- Sentraal-Suid Koöperasie Beperk Tel: 028 514 8600 / 49 www.ssk.co.za
- Senwes Tel: 018 464 7800 www.senwes.co.za
- The Co-op Tel: 042 295 1082 www.humkoop.co.za
- TWK Tel: 017 824 1005 www.twkagri.com
- Vilko Villiersdorp Cooperative Tel: 028 840 1120 www.villiersdorpko-op.co.za
- VKB Group Tel: 058 863 8111 www.vkb.co.za
EQUIPMENT: storage and milling
- ABC Hansen Tel: 012 803 0036 www.abchansenafrica.co.za
- AC Trading Tel: 012 803 0036 www.hippomills.co.za
- Almaz Agro SA Tel: 078 298 4114 www.almazsa.co.za
- Bessemer Tel: 011 762 5341/2 www.bessemer.co.za
- Big Dutchman Tel: 011 452 1154 www.bigdutchman.co.za
- Buhler Tel: 011 801 3500 www.buhlergroup.com
- Cango Engineering Tel: 044 272 3590 www.cango-hammermills.co.za
- Diamond Implements Tel: 013 665 1032 www.diamondimplements.co.za
- Drotsky Tel: 011 864 1601 www.drotsky.co.za
- Erdvark Engineering Tel: 027 216 1536 www.erdvark.co.za
- Flomech Tel: 031 569 2038 www.flomech.co.za
- GENTAG Tel: 018 431 1287 www.gentag.co.za
- Grain Tech Tel: 011 835 2064 www.graintech-makeway.com
- GRAMEC Tel: 011 882 1914 www.gramec.com
- GSI Group Africa Tel: 011 794 4455 www.gsiafrica.co.za
- Hydrex Tel: 011 034 7400 www.hydrex.co.za
- Jones Masjiene Tel: 014 543 4889 / 083 627 6026 www.jonesmasjiene.co.za
- Just Another Problem Solver (JAPS) Tel: 011 965 1202 / 082 890 9476 www.japs.co.za
- Kongskilde Tel: 011 894 2341 www.kongskilde.com
- Martínez & Staneck SA www.martinezystaneck.com.ar/en
- Pan Mill Tel: 083 751 0502 www.panmill.co.za
- Plantkor Tel: 060 577 8168
- Quadro Alloys Tel: 011 363 3166 http://quadroalloys.co.za
- ROFF Industries Tel: 056 212 2697 www.roff.co.za
- Rototank Tel: 012 376 1070 www.rototank.co.za
- RSA Seed & Grain Tel: 082 573 7069 http://rsaseed.blogspot.com
- SBS Agri Tel: 087 727 7718 www.sbsagri.co.za
- Silobag Systems Tel: 083 570 1574 www.silobag.co.za
- Silo Warehouse Tel: 012 332 1469 www.silos.co.za
- Staalsak Tel: 058 635 2032 / 082 881 1468 http://staalsak.yolasite.com
- Techmach Tel: 011 762 1091 www.techmach.co.za
Fumigants & pest control
- Advanced Integrated Pest Management Tel: 012 346 0162 www.aipm.co.za
- Avima Tel: 011 048 2453 Stored grain protection pesticides
- Coopers Environmental Science Tel: 011 979 4246 www.cooperses.com
- Degesch SA Tel: 011 974 2338 www.degesch.co.za
- Hamelin Traps Abel Mukwevho – 083 959 7781 Organic, multi-catch rat trapping system Find the news article “Pied pipers of Msawawa“.
- National Fumigants Tel: 011 769 1300 / Tel: 031 765 3055 www.natfum.co.za
NOTE: regarding the table which follows, interested parties should confirm information with the companies involved and/or by visiting company websites.
|Company||Silos & containers||Augers & handling equipment||Dryers, cleaners||Feed mills & mixers|
|African Micro Mills||√|
|Almaz Agro SA||√|
|GSI Group Africa||√||√||√||√|
|Martinez & Staneck SA||√|
|RSA Seed & Grain||√||√|
Services & other
- ARC-Plant Protection Research Frikkie Kirsten 012 808 8217 Kirstenf [at] arc.agric.za Pesticide testing, rodent control research, mycotoxin analysis
- Biomin Animal Nutrition Tel: 018 468 1455 www.biomin.net Biomin® CleanGrain liquid for the preservation of grains
- EKO Design Tel: 082 774 2953 www.ekodesign.co.za Professional engineering and management services: grain storage alternatives, grain handling systems, general grain management
- Electronic Silo Certificates (ESC) Tel: 0860 372 372 www.silocerts.co.za Managing silo certificates online
- GPB Consulting Tel: 021 852 7811 www.consultgpb.co.za GPB has been involved in the upgrading of a number of grain storage depots.
- Leaf Services www.leafservices.co.za Official quality assurance services
- Rhine Ruhr Process Equipment Tel: 011 609 0411 www.rhineruhr.com
- Ronin Grain Management Solutions Tel: 011 608 3666 www.roningms.com Grain management system solutions, analytical grading equipment and grain handling services
- South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) Tel: 012 428 7911 www.sabs.co.za Pesticide residue testing for quality control and R&D purposes
- South African Grain Laboratory (SAGL) Tel: 012 807 4019 www.sagl.co.za Grain analysis and related services
- Techmach Tel: 011 762 1091 www.techmach.co.za Grading and other grain equipment
Websites and publications
Find details of the following eBooks at www.abchansenafrica.co.za:
- Grain Handling, Storage & Drying Handbook. This is an excellent guide to plan your silo storage complex, “one of those things a processor or farmer will do sooner or later”.
- Low Temperature & Solar Grain Drying Handbook
- Managing Dry Grain in Storage
- Dry Grain Aeration Systems Design Handbook
Call 012 842 4017 or email iaeinfo [at] arc.agric.za for the following leaflets, available from the ARC in Silverton:
- Bou van permanente sloot- en bunkersilo’s
- Building of permanent trench and bunker silage silos
- Hamermeul handleiding en toetsverslag
- Handleiding vir die konstruksie van graansilo’s vir plaasopberging
- Manual for the construction of grain silos for farm storage
Grading of maize and storage are two topics included in the excellent DALRRD marketing document Field Crop Marketing on www.dalrrd.gov.za (take the “Resource Centre” and then “general publications” menu options). It is part of a training series.
Maritz J. 2021, June 2. “The significant role of storage in the grain supply chain”. Oilseeds Focus, p. 38. Available at www.opot.co.za/imgs/oilseeds-focus/2021/oilseeds-focus-vol-7-no-2-june-2021.pdf
The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has a PDF publication for download called “Appropriate Seed and Grain Storage for Small-Scale farmers“. Download it from www.fao.org.
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