Grain storage facilities at Ohio State University’s Farm Science Review are undergoing a major facelift, integrating the latest in grain handling technology and design that farmers can take note of at the 2014 show, Sept. 16-18.
The project kicked off May 19 at the storage site, located in the middle of the Molly Caren Agricultural Center. The project will add 90% to the existing storage capacity, according to Chuck Gamble, manager of the Farm Science Review.
"We've had the need for additional storage capacity for many, many years," said Gamble. "We're updating the facilities with the latest technology and infrastructure in grain handling and storage, which our attendees will take great interest in at this year's show."
Sponsored by the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, the Farm Science Review plants 600 acres of corn and 600 acres of soybeans each year and begins harvesting the crops during the show's field demonstrations in September, weather permitting. Last year, corn averaged 220 bushels per acre while soybeans averaged 60 bushels per acre. The farm also typically plants an estimated 120 acres of wheat each year, which averaged 93 bushels per acre in 2013.
According to Nate Douridas, farm manager, updates to the storage facilities include:
- A Brock commercial corn bin with the capacity to hold 55,000 bushels, expandable to 72,000 bushels.
- A 46,000-bushel capacity Brock commercial soybean bin, replacing an outdated, 10,000-bushel capacity bin.
- Improved ventilation through the bin floors by using eave aeration with a variable speed fan to convert single-phase electricity to three-phase electricity.
- A Union Iron state-of-the-art tower with no guide wires, adding stability and safety to the entire structure.
- HSI Systems 105-foot grain leg for soybeans, replacing a 60-foot leg.
- A Honeyville Metal Inc. distributor.
- Automated Lowry DumPit, allowing soybean dumping to be more convenient and efficient.
"Farmers have been using pits to dump their soybeans for several years now, but automated dumping is the next big thing in order to achieve high capacity," said Douridas.
MRC Sales and Service, of London, Ohio, a longtime exhibitor and supporter of the Farm Science Review, is heading the renovation project.
"Mike Miller and his staff have done a phenomenal job working on this project," said Gamble. "Without a doubt, this system will provide an important component to our overall objective of becoming a world-class farm show."
Thomas & Marker Construction, of Columbus, Ohio, is serving as the general contractor for the project.
While immediate updates to the storage facilities will be finished by this year's show, the project will have a lasting impact on storage capacity for the next 20 to 25 years, with plenty of room to grow, according to Gamble.
"Looking to the future as yields continue to increase, grain storage is a long-term investment that gives farmers flexibility from a marketing standpoint when they can control the number of bushels they store," said Gamble.
"We're in a long-term business with a growing population; storage capacity is essential to feeding 9 billion people by 2050."
The Farm Science Review is known as the Midwest's premier agricultural event and draws 130,000 farmers, growers, producers and agricultural enthusiasts from across the US and Canada annually. Participants are able to peruse 4,000 product lines from more than 600 commercial exhibitors and engage in educational opportunities with Ohio State and Purdue University specialists. This year's show will mark the 10th anniversary of partnership with Purdue.
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