Be aware of misleading marketing terminology such as ‘fumigatable silos’. Buying silos is a significant, long-term investment – take the time to make the right choice.
When compared with grain storages, silos can be a significant investment, however they offer superior insect pest and grain quality control options, flexibility in terms of size and ease of filling and emptying. Aerated, gas-tight sealable silos should always be the preferred option.
A gas-tight sealable silo will ensure phosphine, or other fumigants and controlled atmospheres, are maintained at a sufficient concentration to kill insects through their complete life cycle of eggs, larvae, pupae and adult.
The contract of sale must include the Australian Standard (AS2628) and be pressure tested on site after installation.
Ensure the pressure relief valve fitted is capable of handling the maximum air-flow in and out of the silo due to ambient temperature variations.
Wall sections should incorporate a positive seal between sheets and sealed riveting where rivets are exposed.
Check for quality seals and sealing mechanisms that will last to extend the maintenance intervals.
Look for a sturdy base and frame on elevated cone base silos with quality weldments.
Aeration cooling fans capable of 2-4 litres of air per second per tonne are a must-have accessory for a new silo and provide significant benefits for stored grain.
Always consider access and safety features, including roof rails, ladder lockouts, platforms and ladder cages. A ladder should always be fitted, as inspection of the grain in the top of the silo should be carried out regularly.
Check silo design inside and outside for ease of cleaning. Check walls and aeration ducting including in-floor aeration for grain and dust trap points. Full floor aeration is almost impossible to clean.
Ensure adequate venting is fitted to the roof of silos with aeration fans to permit adequate air-flow without restriction. These vents should be easy to clean and near the roof access ladder to enable maintenance and able to lock down if it is a sealable silo.