Completion of a new grain system this fall has provided J Adams Farms the opportunity to harvest corn more efficiently and market that grain more effectively. The new system was completed on the Mount Sterling, Ohio, farm in mid-October — just in time for harvest to begin.
Farm owner Justin Adams previously sold most of his corn at harvest for ethanol production.
“I was losing time hauling grain to the elevator and waiting in line for hours at a time,” he said. “Having my own grain system is much more efficient and will allow me to eliminate a truck or two during corn harvest.”
Besides improving efficiency, Adams said the new system also gives him much greater marketing flexibility. Previously, some of his corn was stored in two smaller bins on his farm site. But without a dryer, he was only able to hold that grain for a limited time. Those smaller bins are now used exclusively for storing soybeans.
“Before, we were always in a rush to sell our corn by the first of April when the weather starts to warm up,” he said. “With increased storage capacity and a dryer, we can hold our corn for a few months longer, until July or August, and capitalize on some late-season basis premiums if they are available. We were not able to do that before.”
The new system, designed and installed by local GSI dealer Sims Construction, includes:
- Two 48-foot-diameter dry storage bins, each with 90,000-bushel capacity, and one 42-foot-diameter, 40,000-bushel wet-grain storage bin. Combined, they provide 220,000 bushels of storage capacity.
- A portable dryer that can dry 500 to 600 bushels per hour at a 5-point moisture removal.
- A 1,700 bushel-per-hour air system which moves grain from the dryer to the dry storage bins.
Adams also added floodlights that illuminate the entire site.
“The lights run automatically from dusk to dawn in case we need to work later into the night,” he said. “I’m really big on having lights, not only for convenience but for safety as well. I typically walk around with a flashlight, and that’s not the best option.”
As harvest got underway, Adams was pleased with the speed and efficiency of the new system. “A grain truck is pulling into the field consistently every 20 to 30 minutes. We have never experienced that before,” he said.
He is also impressed with the Vision Series WatchDog system, which provides remote monitoring of dryer functions such as moisture, temperature and dryer status from his smartphone or other web-accessible device.
Beyond just meeting current storage needs, the new grain system was designed to also support future growth. The second phase will be to improve grain handling speed and capacity by installing a 1,100-bushel dump pit to hold corn as it is transported from the field and a new wet leg to move that grain to the wet storage bin. As time goes on, the site is designed to add up to three more 90,000-bushel dry storage bins with little or no change to the infrastructure.
“As a young farmer, I may want to grow my operation and add acres if the opportunity presents itself,” Adams, 38, said. “The site is laid out, and the electric is in place to support expansion plans.”
Nick Rothbrust, project manager for Sims Construction, said planning ahead for growth is a smart, cost-effective strategy.
“Room for growth is really important as you pick up more acres in the future,” he said. “When you invest in a new grain system, make sure the plans include growth capacity and account for that in the layout. You don’t want to have to remove or move something in a few years that you just installed.”
In addition to Sims Construction, Adams expressed gratitude to everyone involved for their role in the new grain system.
“It turned out to be beautiful, and I’m really proud of it,” he said.