Piggy bank fires are a real problem for Iowa farmers.

To the uninitiated we see them all across the country side. Grain bins. These are typically steel monolith structures that rise out of the prairie sea. So what is the problem? The problem is the lack or technology in grain bins. Grain moisture levels is another.

Not knowing your crop condition without physically examining your bins. These are standard challenges for the farmer, but because these structures hold a significant amount of potential revenue for the farmer they MUST be addressed. For the the farmer who has a harvest each year they park their crop in a grain bin – their piggy bank. Easy peasy. STOP. It isn’t.

While the grain bin is doing a fair job of holding the crop the farmer figures out when to sell the crop. What risk could there be in that? Moisture for one. Decay. Pestilence. Heat. Fires! Add to this that when the farmer goes to sell the crop if the moisture level is too high they’ll be penalized and not receive the optimal payment. 

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What if I told you that you were going to put a significant amount of your income each year into a tin can out back, put a fan on it to keep it dry and it would be waiting for you when it came time to use those funds? BUT if your income has too much moisture or damage you will not be given the full value. In a world where google and amazon have our homes wired for sound, lights, audio, energy efficiency, etc, etc. you would think I’m crazy to think a tin can would suffice. Farmers do this every time they choose to store their crop in a grain bin. We live in a world where the IOT (Internet of Things) has become standard – at home and some industry and it lives on our phones too. Grain bins have not traditionally been capable of this. Hundreds of lives have been lost due to grain bin processes. In past studies Iowa has led the nation in grain bin fatalities. This should be a topic we take seriously in Iowa. 

Join Steven Brockshus with the Iowa Ag Podcast to talk about technology in grain bins and the challenge of improving the farmer’s flexibility, profitability, and connectedness when connecting their piggy bank the grain bin.