PODCAST EPISODE: Is your Grain Bin Facility Making You Money?
16 Jan 2433 min 13 sec

The grain storage facilities on today's modern farms are larger than the local elevator of just a few decades ago. With size and scale comes a huge deployment of capital (and planning!). Johnny Verell sits down with Damian to explain how he went from essentially no on-farm grain storage in 2006 (they grew mostly cotton) to having a huge, modern grain facility today. Johnny explains the things he planned right and the things he wishes he’d considered at inception. Your grain facility is a HUGE, expensive piece of infrastructure. Listen to this for ideas on making it future proof!

Presented by Advanced Drainage Systems


00:00 Is your grain facility in need of upgrading? Are you gonna start from scratch and build a new grain handling facility? 00:08 That's what we're talking about today with Johnny Rell, planning for the Future with your Grain facility. Welcome to Extreme Ag Cutting the Curve podcast, 00:20 where you get a guaranteed return on investment of your time as we cut your learning curve 00:25 with the information you can apply to your farming operation immediately. Extreme ag, we've already made the 00:32 mistakes so you don't have to. Managing your farm's water resources is a critical component to a successful and sustainable farming operation. 00:42 Advanced drainage systems helps farmers just like you increase their yields up to 30% with their technologically advanced water 00:50 management products. Visit ad s pipe.com to see how they can keep your business flowing. Now, here's your host, Damien Mason. Hey 01:00 There. Welcome to another fantastic episode of extreme Ag Cutting the curve. Got Johnny Ral on here, extreme ag guy, 01:06 Jackson, Tennessee Farmer. I was at his farm in June, the end of June, and we did some recording around his grain facility. 01:14 Big, huge, wonderful modern dryer. Talked about some of the reasons they selected the drying system. 01:19 They have talked about a lot of other things. And then one thing that I said, you know what we should really record about, you spent millions 01:26 of dollars here because let's face it, and these times the average farming operation that's of scale has a bigger grain facility than a local grain 01:36 elevator did just 20, 30 years ago. It's a big expenditure. It's a long-term, capital expenditure. 01:42 It's gonna be around for arguably the next 30 or plus years. Are you really thinking through this? 01:48 Many people that you talk to have a little bit of regret. You know what, I should have done this when we did this huge 01:55 expansion of the grain facility. So I thought, Johnny, why don't you talk about all the things that came into your mind 02:01 and your planning, what you got, right, what you'd maybe tweak, uh, moving forward on this huge facility that you put in place. 02:09 Because you know what, a lot of people are going through this right now in terms of expanding their grain facility. 02:14 Yeah, so like for us, 2006, we were predominantly cotton and we transitioned into grain corn in 2007 02:21 and we're like, we'll sell cotton picker, we'll get a grain system put into place. And there was really not a lot of grain bins 02:27 around us at the time. Uh, the systems that were were, were around. There were single bins or 30-year-old set up. 02:35 So, you know, looking at something modern is, is kind of, was hard to find. So I talked to several different people. 02:41 We went and looked at several different operations and stuff like that. And you know what's funny is, is you never find anybody 02:47 that was just perfectly happy with what they built. There's always something you would do different. And that, that was something that we learned early on. 02:54 And so we've learned a lot, you know, from 2007 and like in 2013, we put a separate system in almost side by side. 03:02 Um, because you just start learning what is your bottleneck, what is gonna shut you down one day when you're 03:07 harvesting and something breaks. So, you know, for me it's, it's, it's almost like you need a peer group. 03:13 You need to go look at everybody's setups. You need to ask everybody what not to do. Have you ever heard of a farmer saying they got a big enough 03:20 grain bin system or a big enough bin? No, you always need bigger. You know, and you run into issues when you get too big in 03:26 bins, it's a lot more to it. But I think every farmer would tell you there's something they would do different. 03:31 So by the way, that is dead, dead on. I had somebody say something really smart to me once I've done some, uh, buying of houses 03:39 and trying to make a dollar fix 'em up. I had somebody say something really smart once they asked if I was ever gonna build my dream home. 03:44 And I said, nah, I, I don't even know what that would look like. And also it's, it's a moving target. 03:49 And then this smart person said, biggest mistake we made is we built the house that we thought was gonna be our forever home. 03:54 But we were so young we didn't realize what all we really wanted. It's common similar concept, your farm keeps evolving you, 04:01 you switch, not just, you know, generally acres grow, you get more acres let's say, but you change your cropping mix. 04:08 So that's a big change. Yeah. Obviously, you know, from cotton to grain, okay, we need some grain handling facility. 04:15 It moves with time. You talked about capacity. Yeah, I need more. But also some of the other things, the things 04:22 that the technology comes in and the needs you have just since you built yours. You said the first big expansion was oh seven, 04:29 then again some stuff in 13, then again a year or so ago, right? That's right. That's right. So, you know, 04:35 in 2007 we put in a system that we thought would be everything we ever needed. Uh, within two years we knew we were in trouble, right? 04:43 So, you know, one thing is we went from raising corn soybeans kind of on our less marginal ground to where we were raising cotton, 04:50 which is usually the higher yielding ground. So we outgrew our dryer really quick and I, I think that's one of the biggest, 04:55 biggest bottlenecks people do is they'll put it in a dryer for what they think they need today. 05:00 And everything changes. The, the, the genetics in the car makes it harder to dry is what the dryer people say. 05:07 'cause you never get to the charts that they say you should be at or whatever it is. But you know, your yields are always seem to be ticking up. 05:13 You want 'em to, right. That's why we farm. We always wanna try to make more yield. 'cause a lot of times that's the easiest 05:19 way to make money nowadays. 'cause price is definitely not in our favor. So, you know, we, we've transitioned into a larger dryer 05:26 and we put a dryer in that we could expand. It was bigger. It was a third bigger than I needed when I put it in and then I could actually expand it another third. 05:33 So we did that. Just thinking for the future, because I might not pick up ground where I'm at. You were here, we've got 05:39 factories going up right down the road. We've got houses kind of getting popped up around us. Not quite as bad as Chad, 05:45 but we're, we're on the edge of being in the same situation. So I don't wanna, you know, 05:50 put in the biggest dryer I need today if I start losing ground. The flip side is I wanna have a dryer that I can expand 05:56 with if, if our yields go up right. That could be the easiest way for me to get the volume. I built the grain bin when I was a senior in high school 06:05 when we expanded from one big grain bin to then we had some overflow even. And we were dairy farmers. We weren't grain farmers. 06:11 Like my high school buddy and I built, I don't know, like a 5,000 bushel bin. Like, well this will handle, uh, you know, where, 06:18 what our excess, it was like 1987. This would be quaint by today's standards, right? You're talking about you drive by the countryside 06:26 and you see something from the 1980s, like yeah, that 13,000 bushel bin was a big bin back then. Now what do you got? 65,000 bushel bins. 06:33 80,000 bushel bins. Yeah. Eighties or fifties to 170 fives. So And so, uh, capacity is one thing, 06:41 but your grain dryer that we shot videos about that. So by the way, dear listener and viewer, if you want to check this out, go 06:48 and check out, uh, Johnny and I and his, my, my good friend Brian Adams shot video out there outside of his green dryer. 06:55 And some of the reasons he, he did it, and I think it's worth revisiting. Yours has motors that are at the bottom. 07:01 So instead of having to get a crane to change out a motor 10 years from now when it should go bad, it's right here at a forklift level 07:09 or skid loader level versus a a crane. Um, you talked a lot about its ability to be built up, built on over for capacity 07:18 because the bottleneck, as you said, you went from what, what was the type of dryer you had? 07:23 It was, it was fine. Yeah. In thousand seven, they call it portable Dryers. It's the standard 07:28 dryer. But it has really, And it was fine in 2007 for a couple of years and you realized this is holding us up. 07:35 That's right. That's right. And so for us, you know, I could put in more bins and hold more grain, but for us, our market is always that, 07:43 you know, so for us, we can start cutting 30% corn usually around the 15th of August. 07:49 Sometimes a little earlier. We get a big premium from August 15th to September 10th. So what we try to do is put all the cord out we can. 07:57 So the dryer is the only way we can do that. So I need that dryer running in full capacity for 20 to 30 days because after that we shut the doors on the bins 08:06 and we'll sit there and hold it. So, you know, but we make more of our money in that period of time than we do usually by holding it to June, July. 08:13 It's hard to get that premium back. Johnny, we talked, we we talked about that in one of the previous recordings. 08:18 I think it's in other words, and, and you're saying, well, is he bragging about how much money he makes? 08:22 No, he's talking about making the facility make you money. Sure. He's close to the Mississippi, there's a shortage 08:30 of corn, uh, by late summer. And he, Matt Miles can do the same thing. They can grab corn when it's obviously now where close 08:39 to being ready in Iowa and, and capture that huge margin because of the basis is up 08:45 because there's, there's starting to be shortages of supply in different pockets and, and where he is, he can fill it. 08:51 Well you can only fill it if you can get it dried. You need throughput capacity. So when you kept expanding 08:58 your fir at first you didn't think about the dryer. When did the revelation come to you? I've gotta be able to get throughput 09:05 during the hottest time of the year. I gotta be able to dry corn and get it to the river so I can capture 09:10 this margin or wherever it goes. Yeah. You know, the market's changed, you know, so where we are kind of back towards Matt, you got dog food, 09:17 cat food, horse feed. They had big premiums that time of year. And then we got an ethanol plant about 60 miles north of us. 09:23 And they all get hungry the end of July, first to August. They're waiting on that harvest 09:27 to start down south things start shipping. So that's just the last, I don't know, seven, eight years that's really transitioned into the time for us to sell. 09:36 So we started building and putting in these dry the dryer. So we could do that because before, like you were saying, 09:43 I, I had really big fans. I had two x the airflow I needed on my bins when I put this new system in because I was just gonna dry it with air. 09:50 Be real efficient. Yep. Well I can't put 30% in right. You can put 20, 21% in and do it, but then it might take a month depending on the humidity, 09:59 the moisture and all this stuff to get it dry. Now our philosophy's changed. Every bushel goes through that dryer, we hope by 20%. 10:08 And we dry and this condition coming outta that dryer and it's in that bin, whether it's ready to ship in August or whether it's ready to ship in, you know, April it's dry 10:17 so the fans don't run as long. There's all kinds of things you can look at, you know, money's money and people can look at it 10:22 and justify whatever they want. But for us, you know, that early harvest premium where it's at. Didn't you tell me by the way, you, 10:30 you probably think I don't just listen and almost write down nuggets of wisdom. Didn't you say when I was at your farm 10:36 that your grandfather's statement to you was son? Uh, a man can justify in his mind anything that he actually wants. 10:44 Didn't you tell me that? Yeah, Yeah. My granddad told me that one time I was working on an Excel sheet trying to figure out if we could buy a 10:50 farm or a piece of equipment. He was asking me what I was doing. He was probably 9 1 9 2 years old. 10:56 He, he looked at me and said, well son, a man can justify anything he wants in this world. And I mean it's true. You can justify a bigger 11:02 jar or smaller jar. You can talk about your neighbors not being what it needs to be. 11:06 But at the end of the day, you know, does it pencil on their farm? Is that ROI there? 11:10 So let's talk about ROI You spent a fair amount of money and again, before we hit record, I said a lot of farm guys, 11:18 you know, farm people, very reluctant to discuss money. Well let's face it, anybody that's priced new grain facility concrete, putting a new electric panel in, you're, you know, 11:27 you're not talking about a new electric panel to uh, you know, to power up a a you know, a pool house. You're talking about a major, 11:36 major infrastructure investment. Um, the money's big. And do you think that some of the reason people have regret is they spend too much 11:48 or I wonder if it's they, they tried to save 20 grand and now it's costing them every time they drive through the facility with a load of, uh, grain. 11:59 Yeah, and I mean that, that's what we ran into when we started. We did not have natural gas out here 12:03 that would run our dryer. So we put in propane tanks for propanes almost some years it was almost two x the money. 12:11 Lucky thing is when we put in natural gas, we ran a natural gas Maine all the way here. And at the time I needed say 30 gallons an hour 12:19 or 30 an hour is what they're going off natural gas with a dryer. It can go up to 50 an hour. 12:25 Well just think if I'd spent say 20 grand at the time to put in what I needed or I could have spent 30 and put in a big main all the way here that you'd had 12:36 to replace or put in a whole. And it's the same thing. So, you know, thinking ahead, you know, we're starting to run into now where we've kind 12:42 of maxed out our electric system that we have here. Yep. The panels we put in, everything is, was built for so many amps and we've added a dryer, we've added more bins. 12:53 If I had to do it over again, I'd have made sure I could not have maxed that out. 'cause to put in a new service, it'd cost probably 13:00 three x the money now that it did just back then, 'cause the stuff's gone up, the labor's gone up on the electrician. 13:06 You know, it's just things like that you don't think about that really can make things very cheap 13:12 to upgrade if you had the infrastructure in place. Yeah. So that's it is, again, we're not saying go out here and be callous 13:19 or cavalier I should say, with your expenditures. 'cause there's obviously, everybody has a story from going back to the eighties, obviously someone was overextended 13:27 and then obviously they lost a farm. You're not talking about that. But there's smart spend 13:31 and that's what I think I'm hearing you say. Smart spend is making it so that it's amendable. In other words, doing it right now so that it 10 years, 13:40 four years, six years from now, we can amend, add-on, on change this. And so some of the things you think you did right, 13:48 in other words, making it amendable. Let's talk about the grain dryer first. Yeah. So you know, we were talking about 13:53 how we could stack onto it. Literally, you know, an hour, you could probably take all the boats off the top section, 14:00 pick it up, set it on the ground with the crane, have a truck set over the next section, put it on, put it all back together probably in one afternoon. 14:07 Yeah. And there's no moving parts on the, on the system. I have, I think I got around one new temperature wire up, 14:12 but there's no fans, there's no moving parts. So that's how we were looking at it. We went ahead and made our legs tall enough 14:18 so if we added onto the dryer, the leg was already tall enough to feed it so I didn't have to worry about adding onto the leg. 14:24 'cause you get into, well, was the trunk big enough on the original leg? Mm-Hmm. And if it wasn't, 14:29 then you gotta replace the whole leg. So we did several things in place. Yeah, it costs us a little more money on the front end, 14:35 but at the end of the day, you know, future expansion is gonna be a third of the price. 'cause you're not redoing stuff 14:42 and you know, the electrical stuff, making sure your service is big enough is key. Because if you have to start changing out servers pulling 14:48 new wire, you know, just because you need just one size bigger wire. I mean, some of this wires several dollars a foot now. Yeah. 14:54 And multiple strands. So yeah, it's, it's a big picture look and it's just, that's one thing I did 15:00 not ask when I did this. You didn't ask, you didn't ask which Like for the electrical side, like really what did I need 15:08 to do because I did what I needed that day. Luckily I did what I needed that day plus some, but we're already maxed out. 15:15 So now every time we do it, it's a big bill just on a, like if I had one bin, it, it could cost 15 grand to do the electrical and I could have, 15:23 and it could have cost a few thousand dollars if I'd have done it right on the first. Because you start patching 15:28 and patching does not work. So. Yeah. Yeah. And, and, and we, before we hit record, I talk about, you know, 15:33 the typical Midwestern dairy farm that evolved and uh, you know, like I was raised, well then you built the next barn 15:39 and then well okay, well we really don't have enough electric capacity so now we're dark over here because we didn't have enough electric capacity 15:45 to put the proper lighting. And you know, it just goes on, on, on your always. What about even if you're not adding on, 15:51 what about if you say, all right, I might get a little bit more yield but I'm not planning on growing my acres. 15:55 There's still big considerations there just based on the yield bump or I think it's probably smart 16:01 to think about if you have to pivot and change. What, what would be your thoughts on that or your advice on that? 16:06 Yeah, so for us, you know, I could lose 500 acres to factories in a year. You know, we lost three 50 last year. 16:15 So like what you're saying, you don't wanna be maxed out and then have bins that aren't being utilized. 16:20 So we would diversify, you know, maybe raise some wheat, start storing wheat year round, stuff like that. 16:25 I mean the thing is, is whatever you build, just make sure multiple crops can go into. Um, I'm not a milo guy. 16:32 I don't know if I would wanna put Milo in a bin. You hear stories where it's good, where it's bad, but for us it's just, you know what, 16:39 what if they put a wheat mill in in 10 years or five years from now? I'm here in west Tennessee 16:44 and I need to be able to store wheat all year long to feed that meal. Right now that's not really what we're doing, 16:50 but you just want the capabilities to do that and always be able to just change on the go. So, you know, grain meals for us is just, 16:56 just like a, an 18 wheeler. It's something we gotta have, um, for us to run to the river with no lines up the river, you know. 17:04 So it's a three hour turn roughly for us to go to the river and back. You know, we're running three combines in corn. 17:10 It would probably take 20 to 25 trucks to keep three combines going in corn if we're going to the river with no weight. 17:17 Yeah. Whereas the system we have here, we're running six trucks to the, to the, Yeah. So your, your 17:23 capacity is such that it keeps your field har your harvest moving with without any, 17:28 because you're just at the edge of getting to where you might even have some hurricane issues. Like Matt talks about down in Arkansas. 17:34 'cause you're at the north end of the Delta, you um, aren't quite as bad as Chad in this regard. Chad has a housing development 17:43 that's massively big a mile from him. He's got the Huntsville airport that's expanding. He's got all sorts of encroachment of 17:51 uh, civilization. It would be possibly not a good decision. And I'm not gonna make this decision for Chad to go 18:02 and spend a million dollars on upgrading to the grain facility where he is. It makes you wonder, is this gonna be a 18:07 subdivision 10 years from now? You can't pencil out a million dollar infrastructure on a 30 year depreciation, uh, or amortization cycle. 18:15 Uh uh, if it's gonna be development, you've got a similar situation. You're close to stuff, 18:22 but you built this thing a few years ago then you, you know, or you, sorry, you expanded it and and updated it. 18:28 What would be your advice about location? Yeah, so you gotta think about getting the traffic in and out. 18:33 And so one thing we do use, we use a lot of custom haulers to come in because 18:37 as we're hauling crops in from the field, you know, that's wet. I'm also hauling dry cord out at the same time. 18:43 So you need a place that can line up a lot of trucks and not be bottlenecked. So we got it set up where trucks that are empty can come in 18:51 and get loaded and kind of cut in front of the guys that are. So I guess where you're going with that is, 18:55 is if I start getting more and more development here and there's more and more traffic, I still need to think about how I'm gonna keep my trucks moving. 19:00 Because, you know, you get set on the road and you got six trucks sitting at a stop sign to turn and it's taking five minutes for each truck to pull out. 19:08 That's not good either. So it's, it's a big thing to look at. And just getting a good site plan in 19:12 place in a good location. And I mean for me, I could be on an I 40 interstate within a half a mile. 19:20 I can be on another state highway that runs north and south across the country within a couple of miles. So looking at good intersections, good access to roads 19:28 because that's what it's all about for us. And you know, the urban sprawls gonna happen. We know it. Um, you know, you need to think about dust, you need 19:36 to think about stuff like that too because grain systems are dusty. They do cause stuff like that. 19:41 So it always amazed me that we always get a different wind when we start drying. It goes right towards every neighbor swimming pool. 19:48 But you know, you just need to think about stuff like that. 'cause you don't wanna put something 19:51 that might be a subdivision around it because it will cause you issues. You know, you do have the right to farm in most areas, 19:57 but you just, you don't wanna, you know, cause that if you can help it So well and you hate to admit it, 20:02 but also what if, what if five years into your new facility the developer says we wanna go ahead and buy this property, uh, for, you know, 20:10 twice of what it would be for three times what the farm ground prices. You're like, that's great. I, I guess you know what, 20:16 from a business perspective, we'll grow houses and I'll go down the road and grow corn somewhere else. But what about this million dollar grain facility out here? 20:23 You, you can't, can you take it with you? Well that's hard. Yeah, it's hard. You can take the bins. 20:29 Of course the concrete and the infrastructure in the ground's still gonna be there. So I mean it's something to think about. 20:34 You know, it's, it's always something going on. You know, you just, you know, you can just lose ground so easy now, you know, you got competition among farmers 20:42 and I don't really see that as my competition. Our competition is development solar, stuff like that. 'cause you can lose so many acres so fast to those. 20:51 You talked to me about when I looked uh, just across the field I saw another larger scale farming operation. 20:57 I said, Johnny, is that yours? And he said, no, this neighbor. And you talked about that we shot an episode about getting along 21:02 with the neighbors, which is something that uh, all too commonly in agriculture we have spats between this farm operation 21:10 and the neighboring farm operation. You said no, we get along flow swimmingly. Then you said we probably should have teamed up on this 21:16 grain facility almost like a private cooperative, you know, a hundred years ago. That was the idea of the cooperative build a build a 21:24 cooperative, uh, grain handling and buy our inputs together and all that. That was sort of the genesis of the cooperative system. 21:32 Wouldn't that make sense for some farming operations? I mean once it gets to where it's like, yeah you farm 5,000 acres, we farm 5,000 acres, 21:39 let's go ahead and have a large grain terminal. And then it is just a matter of way tickets. There's some management, 21:46 but the, the, the co-mingling capital, would it make sense? Yeah, I I think it would. 21:52 I mean we kid around about it all the time. Still to this day we talk about it because we both put in bins, we both put in dryers. 21:58 We both had to pay for electrical infrastructure, natural gas infrastructure, you know, the gravel around the bins. 22:05 A lot of that stuff would've cost the exact same if we'd have put in the same one one location. 22:10 And you could have had on site manager that was there every day make sure everything was done right. 22:15 You know, you look at trucks and stuff like that. A lot of days I'm trucking he's not. So you could really, you know, done like a co-op mentality. 22:23 You know, one thing that me and him did, did do together, we bought a grain bagger and unloader together and we did that 22:30 because just like this year we both had really good corn crops. He was, he bagged grain, I bag grain. 22:36 Those things are very expensive when you only use 'em once every five years. But when you split costs like that, it really helps. 22:42 So for us, you know, we still share stuff where we can, but it really would've been a good thing to put it in just 'cause like I said, your natural gas 22:50 and your electric would've really cost the same and you could have had two x of storage. Yeah, right. Yeah. 22:56 You, you, you'd still would be building the same number of bins. But some of the, again, infrastructure, once you're starting 23:03 to put the, once the power is brought there, then boom and the gas in particular. But yeah, you're gonna have more bin expense 23:09 but you're also gonna have some economies of scale shall we say, if you teamed up. So you think that would make sense. 23:15 Do you see that happening do you think? Or do you think that there's gonna be too much competition between me and the neighbor 23:20 and I want to pick up acres? I don't know, I, I think if we had to do it over again a hundred percent we've done it together 23:25 because like I said, he's expanded. I've expanded and we still don't have enough. But we could've done it together 23:30 and it would've really worked. 'cause he's in cotton still, so on yours he had more cotton, I'd have had more bin space. 23:36 You see what I'm saying? It would've really worked back and forth. So I just, I just think a lot 23:41 of times farmers get hung up on this is what I need and if they could, could work together on what we all need. It'd really benefit things. 23:48 And I know different parts of the country doesn't work that way, but yeah, in the future gonna be a effort I can you that for us 23:55 Tocause. Well because the, I think the numbers get one of the reasons is capital, right? Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. What about if you had to, 24:05 when you talk about plan for the future, 10 years from now you've got this facility and your acres, you know, you keep losing a little bit. 24:13 Do you see yourself ever like being a custom dryer and store for somebody like, hey I, I can take in uh, neighbor Bob and, and so 24:24 and so they are under capacity on their grain facility. You can just be a custom dryer and handler for them. Would you see that being something you could do? Yeah. 24:33 Yeah. I guess the last two or three years we've done that with a couple different farmers for 24:36 where like this year the bean basis went a dollar 50 to $2 down in a couple of weeks we store beans here for 'em, you know, and I just store it. 24:46 So I, we weigh it in, weigh it out, we know exactly what it is. I charge 'em so much a bushel to do it 24:51 and it just gets them outta a bind 'cause their truck's not sitting at the river for seven hours waiting to dump. 24:55 It keeps everybody going. It helps me out. 'cause I sold what I thought at the time was too many beans 'cause the price was up. 25:03 So I had bin space that I utilize now and that just helps go towards, you know, if you do several thousand bushels, 25:09 it really helps go towards the repair 'cause there's always something around that needs to be worked on. 25:13 So let's talk about the money side of this. You know, you're talking about financing a couple million dollars, uh, pretty easily of, of this kind 25:21 of, uh, facility. Is there anything that, that you learned about getting it done? 25:28 I know about going and buying, uh, you know, a chunk of farm ground comes for sale, you know, about getting financing to, you know, 25:35 expand your machinery fleet with a new combine. Is there anything unique or different about financing a grain facility? 25:42 Yeah, I mean for me, like if I was wanting to finance the, the big dryer when I wanted to do that, I had to prove it 25:47 to my dad and to my granddad. But when I showed it to the banker too and showed him a spreadsheet of where this was gonna work, 25:53 this is gonna be like a two year payoff. We can do a seven year loan, but two years it's probably gonna pay. 25:58 It just makes things cash flow better. And I'll say this, you know, there is a lot of grant programs out there for energy efficiency grants 26:06 and stuff like that that, that I've utilized over the past that help you do projects like this. 26:11 'cause it makes you more energy efficient. So people really need to pay attention to those because that's out there. 26:17 It's a lot of work, a lot of paperwork, but there's people that help you do it and you might as well take advantage of it if it's 26:23 what your operation needs. Well I, I like that because we're talking about different things that, you know, green initiatives from utilizing solar 26:31 to those kind of things. Um, you know, wind turbines don't necessarily dry corn. Um, but we, we still need natural gas. 26:39 But there are some programs out there. I almost see that expanding, don't you? Yeah. Oh absolutely. Absolutely. 26:45 And I think you just need to stay educated and I hear about programs like that by going to meetings. Y you know, you hear every now 26:52 and then you'll see something pop up on Facebook or social media. But you go to meetings 26:55 and you hear what a lot of these larger scale farmers are doing and they'll tell you, you know, how they're doing it 27:00 and you know how they're changing out diesel power units from grain on, uh, irrigation wells to electricity. 27:07 A lot of times it's by programs like that. So Yeah. Okay. Um, I, I've, 27:13 I I like I've been to your facility, I like it. It, it could continue to grow. Um, at what point do you make a decision 27:22 where, because a lot of times you say okay, expand and grow, what, at what point would you make a decision, it's time to move down the road and start again 27:31 or it's time to scrap this. In other words, yours is still completely functional, new, et cetera. 27:37 We talk about those older ones, isn't there? Is there time to just say, yeah that was, that's yesterday's time to start new. 27:44 Isn't there probably a case be made for that decision, which is probably planning for a future but difficult? Yeah, I mean I guess so. 27:51 You know, I would think if I ever needed another location, I would just use the one I have here. 27:55 But if I picked up brown, maybe in a, um, neighboring county or something like that, have a pod there is 28:01 kind of how I would look at it. For me to quit farming here, I guess I'd be forced out by housing and stuff like that. 28:07 Yeah. So you hope you don't ever see that. But I mean that's one thing that keeps me from putting in more bins every year is 28:13 because you just don't know. Like I said, you lose a couple hundred acres at a time, it, it hurts, you know? 28:19 Yeah. 40 acres is one thing, but Yeah. So you wouldn't be opposed to going and starting a a, a satellite area 28:27 and you would probably start, start or, or you know, do something like that? Uh, Yeah, I would not be opposed to that if it 28:34 made us more efficient because like I said, the truck's driving down the road, sometimes you do better off just having another location, 28:41 you know, where you're more centralized. Where I'm at right now, you know, really five to 10 miles is as far as we really have to go. 28:47 So I'm very fortunate, um, if you start traveling 60, 70 miles to get back, I would, or even 30 miles, 28:54 you'd probably better off having another, another hub. Johnny. It's a big number to get over. I mean, I can see where there's reluctance 29:01 to even pull the trigger on it and like I, I'm just gonna haul my stuff to town. But you've made the case for trucking time, sitting time 29:08 employees sitting around, then your combine is sitting. You think it's, you think it's these, this facility makes you money 29:14 because of getting the crop done. Talked about, you know, August harvest and taking 30% corn 29:21 'cause you're getting a huge basis. It makes you money. Yeah. Yeah. I mean we hadn't even talked about phantom corn loss. 29:26 Like you said, people need to go back and look at the episodes we did on that back in the summer. 'cause the stuff's there. 29:32 They really pay for theirselves multiple ways. There's not many pieces of equipment that we have on a farm that pays for theirselves three 29:38 and four ways like a grain system does. Yep. Alright, get me outta here. What, what's the other thing? 29:43 Since you're the one that did it. I've never built a a great, you talked about putting in the infrastructure for tomorrow. 29:50 You, you could, you could have put in bigger electric capacity than you needed at the time, but it would've saved you money because then you're patching 29:55 and you said patching doesn't work or it does for a short time. You talked about looking at your gas hookups 30:01 and being able to get, you talked about environmental, uh, possibly incentive programs to be more efficient 30:08 that you can actually get some grants or some matching money and that's something to look into state by state, 30:12 whatever you talked about. Um, being able to amend but the grain bins next another bin in or build onto your dryer, uh, pretty easily. 30:22 You talked about, talked about motors, maintenance, you know, things like that to consider. This all is pretty shiny now, but seven years from now 30:30 after a lot of use, you're gonna have to replace some stuff. Is it easy to do? So those are the things I 30:34 think I've covered many of 'em. Location, uh, making sure that you said trucks can come and go for crying out loud. 30:41 If you, if you're trying to cross a, a busy freeway, you're gonna end up having an accident, somebody's gonna get killed. 30:46 You got all those things to consider, making sure that the access in and out. I miss anything? No, I thought we covered most of 'em there. 30:54 Anything else that you wanna tell me to get us outta the door for anybody that's right now planning for the future 30:58 for their grain facility? Yeah, I would just throw in, make sure site is set up good too. So like when you do your dirt work for your binge, 31:05 you're putting in a day, go ahead and do the dirt work for all of 'em. So everything's done. 31:09 You're not having to dig up water lines, electric lines, gas lines, just go ahead and put a big footprint in. 31:15 'cause if you mess up a couple of more acres now it is so much better off in the future because your gravel, 31:21 your concrete doesn't have to be tore out. I'm telling you, we, we've learned a lot, we've did a lot of things wrong and we've done a few things right, 31:27 but we've done a whole lot more things wrong. But I think every farmer will tell you the same story. Yeah, I I really think 31:33 because all of a sudden, well we never thought we were gonna get this big, now we gotta bring in the excavator, dig 31:37 through this relocate power lines. Like if you'd have just gone ahead and planned for that five years ago, you wouldn't. 31:43 Yeah, it makes a lot of sense right there. Almost every farmer I think that I've talked to said I wish I'd have done this 31:49 or in hindsight I would've done that. So this is very good conversation Johnny. His name's Johnny Rell talking about planning for the future 31:57 with your grain facility. Awesome. Great content like this available through the hundreds 32:03 of videos we've put out podcasts like this, cutting the curve videos, these guys shoot on site. Uh, go back and look at the ones with me. 32:08 Johnny and Brian Adams while we're at their facility, had some really cool stuff. One of 'em, we even climbed up the top. I made Johnny yes. 32:15 I said, Hey, I'm gonna climb up there, prove to you that I can still do this and climbed up the top of the green, uh, dryer and shot from up there. 32:21 Anyway, go check it out. Uh, extreme mag.farm, all kinds of cool stuff. Also remember, uh, crop stress is a big deal. 32:27 It cost you money. Go to a Nutrien Ag Solutions dealer or go to, uh, loveland products.com and check out what Terramark can do for you. 32:35 Thanks for being here. Until next time, he's Johnny Burrell. I'm Damien Mason. This is 32:38 Extreme ag cutting the curve. That's a wrap for this episode of Cutting the Curve, but there's plenty more. 32:46 Check out Extreme Ag Farm where you can find past episodes, instructional videos 32:52 and articles to help you squeeze more profit outta your farm. Cutting the curve is brought to you 32:58 by Advanced Drainage Systems, the leader in agriculture, water management solutions.

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