Grain Bins and Dryers | What To Look For
27 Oct 2315 min 27 sec

Are grain bins all the same? How about dryers? They look the same and they all have the same function. But, their are some differences that are important for farmers to know about before purchasing their next bin or dryer. Damian Mason talks with Johnny Verrell, Chad Henderson and the experts at Superior Grain Equipment about the different options.

00:13 Hey, we're coming at you from Farm Progress Show 2023 addressing a question that I know you have. 'cause I have it. I think a grain bin is a grain bin, 00:21 is a grain bin. I think a grain dryer is a grain dryer is a grain dryer. They're made of steel. 00:25 They consume a lot of electricity or gas when you're trying to use them. And they're really big in the landscape when you drive through the country. 00:32 Tell me that I'm not right. Randy Berg, uh, Rudy Berg and Randy Coffee with Superior are saying, no, Damien, that's not true. I got Johnny Rell and Chad Henderson from Extreme Ag. 00:42 All right. I think you've seen one gray and you've seen 'em all. Tell me why I'm wrong. 00:45 Green bins. Yeah, they, they do all hold grain the same. That's a short stool right there. All right, go ahead. 00:51 So the what what differs is, uh, the way that we approach our customer experience now with the, the grain dryers a little bit different. 00:59 There is some differences with grain dryers between your tower dryers and mixed flow dryers. And then even amongst the tower dryers and the mixed flow dryers, 01:06 there's differences there as well. All right. So, uh, you're saying that the dryers are the difference. Is there a difference in bins? Alright, you guys have a lot of bins. 01:14 I've been to your farms. Is there a difference in a grain bin or are they all the same? Brock, g s i, Sioux Superior, it's a bunch of steel. 01:21 It's usually round and it's tall and used to have ladders. Now as the stairs. What's the difference? 01:27 There are difference in 'em. I mean, you got different thicknesses in the wall. Some of 'em have a little bit thicker wall. 01:31 The floors are designed better on some bins versus others. So there is a difference the way 01:35 The standards are placed on the floors. You know, there's a lot of little big differences that you don't see if you just walk into a grain bin. Now they all are silver. Yeah, that's about it, you know. 01:43 So what'd you talk about The floors. Tell me about the floors. Randy, you, you were leaned in when that, you leaned in when you talked about that. 01:47 What's the difference in floors? Yeah, With the floors, a lot of the floors gonna depend on what type of, uh, support system you have under the floors. Uh, we're using a a, 01:55 a support system that designed around the, the bin size, the bend diameter, the bin height and the spacing of the supports are very, 02:01 very important when you're putting a bin in and having that accurate, uh, to, to sustain, you know, liability. So yours 02:07 Are locked in good enough I can turn my fans on with? That's correct, yeah. You don't turn 'em on initially when it's empty, right? Yeah, that's right. Uh, 02:12 make sure the bed's got grain in it when you turn the fans on. Um, but that, that's a very critical part of the, of the bin when it's going in. Um, 02:21 we, with the superior bin right now, uh, you know, with our bin, um, our roof, a standard roof without support is, is 8,000 pound capability. 02:28 We have a lifetime warranty on the bend roof, uh, which is something we're, we're really proud of and we've done a lot of testing and engineering on that. 02:35 And uh, yeah, we feel like we got, we got a good bin on the market right now. Alright. So you got a good bin on the market and you told me there's some subtle 02:40 differences. Um, is there anything that he missed? If you, if you were, and you're not selling me 'cause I'm not gonna buy a grain, 02:47 but if you're selling me, what's your real pitch gonna be? Don't tell me price. What's the quality difference? What's the structural difference? 'cause to me, 02:53 I still say, okay, little difference in the flooring. Okay. What else? So one thing on our farm bins, Randy mentioned we have a, 02:59 a lifetime warranty on our, our roof, on our farm bins. Uh, we also have a life, what's a lifetime? Uh, lifetime of the bin. Okay. 03:06 Whoa. And, and there are caveats to that. I mean, it's, it's not gonna stand up to a hurricane forced wind. All right. But you know, it is lifetime warranty on the roof, lifetime warranty on the bottom ring. 03:17 Got it. Um, we also, the way we have, have approached our bins as far as the contractors go, they go together easier because we started out as a contracting company back in 03:27 the seventies, building bins and eventually started making our own. So anything that our, 03:32 that our erection crews are going out and if you make a type, you know, a change here, we'll have a hole, a half an inch or something, 03:39 it'll go together better. All right, I'm gonna go ahead and jump to the chase. And this is something I think that it, it folds as closure. 03:44 I've been to Johnny's Farms, he put those grain bins in, they're not yours, but he put in a hell of a big awesome dryer. 03:51 We climbed up to the top of it and shot a video and you said, I'm absolutely sold on this type of a dryer without getting into the whole sell, 04:01 buy, sell, buy. Why did you select that you bought it? It wasn't because of price, it was because of the utility, the derive for your farming operation. Yeah, for 04:11 Me it was about being able to expand it in the future. So I knew with a mixed flow I wanted, 'cause they're very efficient. Then I started looking at all the different mixed flows and see, 04:18 make sure all of 'em could be expanded. But when I found that superiors had all the fans mounted on the bottom, so there's no moving parts that are over say six, seven foot off the ground. 04:27 That's what I wanted. Because if you have a motor go out, you're gonna have to get a crane to come in. And if I have a motor go out, 04:32 I can take a basic forklift or a floor jack, pull my motor out and change it out. So One thing, and by the way, dear viewer and listener, 04:38 if you didn't see it when we shot that video at his farm in Jackson, Tennessee, we stood next to it, these motors weigh hundreds of pounds. That's right. 04:45 And if they're up 60 feet in the air, you're bringing in a crane. But this way it is. You can use tractor loader, forklift, whatever, 04:51 skid steer and get this thing outta there. But you said something that a grain bin idiot like me wouldn't know. You said something about mixed flow. What's mixed flow mean? 04:59 Well, the mixed flow application with the, um, with the way we design our dryer and, and the ducts in it, the grain as it goes through the ducting system, it mixes together, 05:08 it blends together through the whole drying process. It gives a, a really balanced drying and then touching more on the, the fans, 05:15 as Johnny was talking about, we all know the theory of heat rises, right? So when you have fans and heaters on the bottom of the dryer, 05:21 the heat is going up evenly through the dryer. That's a situation over the years. And I've, I've worked with a lot of drying companies that, uh, 05:27 front mounted van dryers are obviously there's an a, a variable heat zone from front to back and the dryer, it doesn't balance out. Whereas fans and heat and units mounted below, it's a perfect plenum, 05:38 perfect heat control and all the grain kernels gets dried evenly. So You have uh, a grain drying system. 05:44 It's not as modern and paint drys. Is this the envy of Chad Henderson now because of what he has? Because it's pretty awesome because I mean 05:52 Everything they're talking about, you know, we have a conventional dryer, you know, and it's a nice dryer and it'll dry good corn, 05:58 but you have to manage it a lot more than I would say you'd manage Johnny's, you know, we're managing, we're managing grain temperature going out, 06:04 we're managing grain temperature in the bin. We're managing fines a lot more. There's a lot of things like that that go on 'cause we can't drive at so many 06:11 to, you know, and that's just the nature of the beast, you know. Um, so where Johnny can start at 27 or 28% and have a good quality grain, you know, 06:18 my number is a whole lot less than that. You know, I'd like to touch on that because one of the big things we covered in a previous video, but again, we didn't cover it all. So this is not repetitious. 06:27 You wanna start at 27, 20 8%. You and Brian Adams, your agronomy uh, uh, sidekick talked about this because you get a premium based on where you are. 06:37 If you can get growing corn earlier, you can make money more than enough to offset the drying charge because of where you are. There's a demand for early season, early harvested corn, 06:47 but also you're not breaking the bank. I thought the numbers were fairly amazing because you said my old batch dryer took me however many cents per point per bushel. 06:57 And this takes like one third of that. Gimme those numbers again. Yeah, so like for us to do about 10 points removal, 07:02 it's running about eight to 9 cents is what it's costing for electricity and gas. So 07:06 About a penny a point. Roughly a penny a point. Now if I, that's right. If I was back to like a, a portable screen dryer like I have on the farm also, 07:14 it's probably more like 12 13 cents. And the biggest problem I always ran with it is the inconsistency in the grain. The grain always got real hot, it just kind of baked it more or less. 07:22 Whereas a mix flow, it holds my dryer holds what? Close to 4,000 bushel I think, right? Yeah. 07:27 So it's stays in there a lot longer and it just constantly mixing it and you get a much better quality coming out. Yeah, the 07:33 The the distribution or the uh, diffusion of That's right. The heated. That's because it used to be you'd have stuff dried down to 13% and stuff that 07:40 was still at 18%. And the big takeaway too, when Chad's grain comes out, it's probably 130, 140 degrees coming outta the dryer. It's gonna go in the bin. 07:47 If you don't have the fans on, it's gonna start sweating right when the grain comes out of ours. If ambient temperature's 70 degrees, it's real close to ambient temperature. 07:54 I'm gonna go back to roadie here and I'm gonna go ahead and point this out. You still haven't convince me there's a big difference in grain bins from one to 08:00 the next. I'm starting to believe there's a big difference from one dryer to the next. Is that more accurate that 08:04 That's more accurate? Yeah, there are quite a be quite a few differences with dryers. Alright, So efficiency. 08:10 He just talked about the points in an era where we're obviously under a lot of scrutiny and agriculture about our environmental, uh, you know, footprint, 08:18 all that kind of stuff. Is this a new way to, to sell superior grain dryers less fuel per per point removed? I mean is that something that's catching on 08:27 It? It's starting to, people are are, you know, mixed flows have been around since the sixties and it's, they kind of had a, a drop off through the eighties. 08:35 Now they're kind of coming back when guys are realizing, yeah, there is more of a difference in the efficiency. It it, you know, 08:41 Johnny did the research and it made sense because he was able to get that, that um, 08:48 economics to work out and they are more efficient and I, we've got guys actually that have still have tower dryers next to our mix flow. 08:56 Yeah. And they don't run the tower dryers unless they absolutely have to because the, the quality coming out, you can gain a a pound to two pounds of Tesla. 09:07 That's One of the thing I was gonna talk about on quality. So if Chad's got stuff that's 130 degrees and it's been cooked down to 12%, uh, 09:13 moisture, but the other stuff is still at 18% because it doesn't flow, can you make the case that you get better test weight and you sell a a little 09:20 bit better quality product based on the way this works versus an old batch dryer? 09:26 Absolutely. When you use a regular most of a portable dryer, your test weight's gonna go down just 'cause it's getting so hot so fast. Yep. 09:32 The mix flow, you can still get it kind of on the warm side but you're also just constantly mixing it down through there and it stays in there at a longer period of time so 09:38 it doesn't heat up so fast as it does with the mix flow. So does It take, from an educational standpoint, 09:43 meaning educational to Randy and roadie here, if they're looking at a farmer that farms a bunch acres like you that needs, could use a new dryer, what's the reason for a per, what's the tripping point? 09:53 What's the trigger? What's the thing that Chad Henderson says, yep, it's time for me to put in a new grain dryer and it needs to look, 09:59 feel like this? Well you know, like I said, the, the biggest thing is now it's education. You know our, I didn't, I didn't know when we put our dryer in, you know, uh, 10:07 I don't know, it was 15 years ago or so. You know, like you said there was that loyalty and then you get into the areas where we're at, you know, we're not in the corn belt. That's right. Me and Johnny, you know, 10:16 we ain't in the corn belt. We have to look way outside our box and be it shows like this to come up with this kind of stuff. So definitely the world is a, you know, the internet, 10:23 I mean social media, you can get so much more information at hand now do your research like Johnny did, you know, get it, get one in your price range and, and you know, 10:32 understand what, what you're trying to do. You know, because ours is, you know, Stuart spends a lot of time on ours where just managing that dryer, right, 10:38 where it's a whole lot, you have a lot broader window of man less management right. Than what we do. You know, I mean it's somebody there 10:45 Crazy wasn't, you said 15 years. What's life expectancy? I mean you go by some of these old farming operations, they got a BA driver, 10:51 it looks like it's from the seventies out there or eighties. Is that, I mean but when's it time? 10:56 When's it time that you can justify it because of the test weight and the energy and the economics? 11:01 I would think it would just go back to the, the economic side. Like his, at one point his is not gonna be efficient enough and when he can get an extra 11:07 three or four or 5 cents cheaper drying, that'd be what really triggers and the speed. So like on our farm we really capitalize on that early harvest premium. 11:15 Right now we're going 80 to a dollar over on early harvest premium. Yeah. It could be 30, 40 cents in two weeks under. Yeah. 11:21 So that's a dollar $20 40 over. Yeah. So you got A short window to make a bunch of money and the economics prove it out. You talked also about expandability. 11:28 Yeah. And so like with air dryer here, literally if I had to expand it, I can make mine a third bigger honestly by taking the top cone off, 11:35 stacking another section on putting the cone right back on and going. I don't have to add any fans or anything like that. So you can 11:40 Go a third bigger which making it Yeah. Formidable. It'd be like 80 feet tall. Yeah, 11:44 It'd be close to what, 6,000 bushels? 50, 55, 5800. Is that pretty much peak? That's as big as it'll get. Yeah. If you want a bigger dryer after that you gotta go longer and they offer a 11:53 longer dryer. But for us, we put in a dryer when we put this one in, I was talking to roadie, 11:57 I put a dryer in that was a third bigger than I needed that day. Yep. And since then we added a third combine in corn harvest. 12:02 So I've already used that third. So you pick up some acres and every year you keep making more bushels per acre. So just stack 12:07 It and go just like a Lego block. Literally it's, it's just a few weld Two when it comes time that that's maxed out and it's time. 12:12 Now do I do the second one? That's a bigger decision. That's right. The expansion of this one is incremental. That's right. 12:17 But to build the next one of these, yeah. It starts to be a money issue Literally again. 12:22 Then you have to look at your return on investment and if you've got the acreage, you know, maybe it makes sense to put in a second one. 12:30 Well a lot, a lot of things comes down to like Johnny's design, when you're designing the system, you design for expansion. Sure. You know, 12:36 because a lot of it comes down to the material handling. Yep. You know the filling and the reclean from the dryer and if that isn't designed 12:42 properly, then it limits how far you can expand the dryer. Yeah. And we look at that when you're doing things like that. 12:47 And roadie made sure when I was doing mine that I put a, yeah, I didn't put a 4,000 bushel leg out dryer in or leg in. Right. 12:52 To match the dryer. I put a 6,000. So if I ever add that tier, I don't have change the leg out. Sure. That's what gets so expensive. 12:58 That gets expensive. Adding onto a dryer is the cheap part. It's if you have to start changing out legs and your infrastructure, 13:02 that's where your issue's gonna be. And sometimes when you're in that process, the farmer says, I'm already capped out. That's a lot of money. And you say no, 13:09 it's probably smarter to plan for expansion right now than it is to come back and do it five years from now. Well, 13:15 Yeah, a lot of times what we do if we're looking at expanding the dryer, sometimes as you go bigger with the dryer taller add tier to it, 13:20 the horsepower changes. So Rodie and I've discussed, and Johnny knows well that that a lot of times maybe you don't put that bigger dryer in, but you put the horsepower in with it or put the size of it, 13:29 you need the controls with it so you don't have to come back and change that out in the future. Just like the material hailing side. All 13:35 Right. Get me outta here Rodie. What do I need to, what do I need to, my takeaway, 13:37 you've kind of convinced me that there's a big difference for one dryer the next and then you've also convinced me that you and Randy are pretty good authority 13:44 on this. Have you convinced Chad it's time for him to go ahead and upgrade his drying system and 13:48 We'll gonna talk about that. I think we need to have further discussion. Oh, Y'all keep, we'll talk about it. 13:53 Had To put these boys on the spot. Should we talk about money? It's a pretty big, this is a capital expenditure. Yeah, absolutely. I mean it is, 13:58 it is for a long haul and it is maybe not for 40 years, but it's definitely for 20, 20, 30 Years, 14:04 You looked at it as a 20 to 30 year expenditure. That's right. And then if you were to amortize it, 14:08 you're amortizing on 30 and your money is on 30 and you definitely can run with it like that. That's 14:13 Right. Yeah. If you take a look at that and you look at the key factor here is the test weight, the quality, we get off our dryer. Yep. 14:18 That's what you're being paid on. You know, you talk bushels, you're not being paid on bushels, 14:22 you're being paid on the weight of those bushels. And with the weight of those bushels over 20 year period, the kind of cost savings you can have on that is very substantial on a mix level 14:29 on our dryer. Yeah. And then from the storage standpoint, uh, I mean once, once it's through the dryer, you know, 14:37 you can talk about some nuances about your bins or the next bin or whatever. Also to his point, he didn't even have superior grain bins. 14:44 But the dryer works with it's it's it's all compatible. Exactly. It's all compatible. Yep. All right. 14:50 Chad Henderson's ready for a new grain drying system. Uh, Johnny made himself look really smart and I really like going there and hanging 14:56 out 'cause I learned more about grain drying systems when I was climbing around on his. Uh, and if you need, uh, any more questions, 15:01 I would go to Roddy and Randy here with Superior. If they wanna learn more about it, where do they go? Where do they go? Superior My is Damian Mason coming at you from the Superior, uh, 15:11 bins and dryer booth here at the Farm Progress Show 2023 till next time. Share this. Somebody I can benefit from it. And also hundreds of videos, 15:19 hundreds of these Go and check 'em out. Till next time.

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