Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Corn is going to market today. Brandon is driving the truck called ‘Vanna’, and delivering corn to Robinson elevator, just across US 50 from the farm. 5000+ bushels will go out today.
This sale will allow John and Ben to install a sweep auger in one of the two remaining bins of corn (#1 or #7). There is a few hours work with scoop shovels and a broom to clean out each bin. The corn will be moved from the storage bin to the overhead load-out bins.
These tall, cylindrical storage bins are unloaded by an under-floor auger. The corn falls by gravity through a hole in the center of the floor. Eventually, all the corn that can flow to that center hole gets removed. This leaves a funnel-shaped ring of corn between the center hole and the walls of the bin. The remaining grain must be moved to the center hole. A sweep auger is hand-carried though a side door into this grain, and the electrical motor powered end is connected on top of the center hole. The sweep auger then pulls the grain to the middle hole, and pivots its circular way around the bin. Workers are needed to scoop the loose grain from the floor behind the sweep, and then broom the floor clean. The auger(s) from the bin deliver grain to the elevating unit, called a grain leg. From the top of 90-foot grain leg, the grain falls down a spout to one of the 2 elevated load out bins. The load-out bins have a funnel-shaped hopper bottom, which delivers the grain to a waiting truck underneath.
Our storage bins are built of corrugated galvanized steel. Some folks call them ‘silos’ or ‘tanks’. Ours range in size from 10,000 to 50,000 bushel capacity. They rest on durable concrete foundations. Just above the concrete is a flat, perforated metal floor that facilitates the movement of air that is blown into the grain by aeration fans.
Another 4 to 6,000 bushels of sales will empty us of the 2012 corn crop. We will be empty quite early this year.