Bag silos are a cheap solution for grain storage but its use has some limitations and disadvantages over the storage in steel silos.
Here are some of the advantages of using a steel silo over a bag silo for grain storage:
Steel silos keep the grains safe longer.
Steel silos can be equipped with complete temperature control and ventilation system that guarantees the maintenance of the grain in good conditions. That is not possible when using bag silos, therefore they are not suitable for long term storage.
Greater storage capacity in a much smaller area.
Another disadvantage of the bag silo is its limited unitary capacity. A bag silo is not often bigger than 200 Tons, and since it is a horizontal type of storage, it requires a large land area, while steel silos, due to their vertical arrangement, allow greater storage capacities in a much smaller land area.
Recommended to store high moisture grains.
Bag silos are not recommended to store high moisture grains, due to the problem of fermentation. Fermentation produces grain overheating with the inevitable loss of quality. Besides, while the grains get into the bag silo, a big amount of oxygen is expelled and therefore the grain is stored in an environment full of carbon dioxide. This lack of oxygen favors the grain fermentation and its damage. We shouldn’t forget fermentation is an anaerobic process as it happens without oxygen.
Steel silos avoid humidity problems in the case of rain.
Another disadvantage of bag silos over steel silos is the frequent breakage of the plastic film, whether it is by rodent attacks or any mechanical equipment working nearby, and therefore producing humidity problems, in case of rain.
Easier to unload.
We shouldn’t forget how difficult it is to unload the grain from a bag silo, entailing grain damage or losses when falling on the ground. On the contrary, a steel silo can be equipped with different unloading conveying systems, according to the type of grain and the capacity required.
For the reasons above, the use of bag silos is not justified even considering the lower investment compared to steel silos. The economic value and the time invested in storing the grain must also be taking into account.
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