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Grain is an essential food item that is widely consumed by humans. The output of various types of grains rose gradually as a result of the application of advanced production techniques, but a large volume of grain was wasted owing to inadequate storage facilities. Various storage systems have typically been employed to maintain the quality of stored food grain for long periods of time with low microbiological and insect-pest losses. Types of storage buildings and storage management play an important role in the preservation of agricultural products, but in some parts of the globe, ancient storage structures are still utilized to store food grains.
Traditional storage techniques in poor countries do not provide enough protection against major storage pests of key food crops such as maize, resulting in 20–30% grain losses, mostly owing to post-harvest insect pests and grain diseases. As a result, smallholder farmers wind up selling their grain quickly after harvest, only to repurchase it at a high price a few months later, slipping into a poverty trap.
To solve this issue, a metal silo was created as a viable solution and has been shown to be successful in protecting stored grains against assault by storage insect pests. A metal silo is a cylindrical structure made of galvanized iron sheet that is hermetically sealed, killing any insect pests present. Metal silo technology has a positive influence on food security, empowering smallholder farmers, increasing income possibilities and job development, and protecting Agro-ecosystems across Africa, Asia, and Latin America. The metal silo may be built in a variety of sizes, with capacities ranging from 100 kg to 3000 kg, by skilled local artisans.
The use of grain silos to store grains instead of warehouses has several advantages, notably in terms of land utilisation. To meet the demands of farmers, the silos may be constructed to match the available land space and are available in both vertical and horizontal configurations. Controlling the temperature makes it simpler to maintain optimal storage conditions for grains, which, if not done properly in long-term storage facilities, can result in economic losses. They are increasingly outfitted with mechanics that aid with the completion of post-harvest operations in farms, such as threshing, cleaning, and disinfection.
The majority of nations that substantially export agricultural goods in international markets, including the United States, Canada, Mexico, China, India, Germany, and the United Kingdom, are focused on keeping the quality of their grains for a longer length of time. Their use is more prevalent in developed countries, where farmers produce large-scale farmlands and store huge quantities of food for a longer length of time. Furthermore, because to the rising frequency of farmers who can invest in setting up silos, the industry is growing rapidly in the region. The European area is home to a plethora of reputable grain silo producers.
The Silos assist the United States in meeting worldwide demand for food, feed, and ethanol-based fuel. However, the rise in silo-based accidents and hazards in many nations poses major hurdles to market expansion. Climbing silos to go inside, check levels, or close and seal lids offers a danger of falling and sustaining catastrophic injuries. The danger of asphyxia owing to a lack of oxygen or exposure to noxious gases, explosive gases, dust, and fumigants such as phosphine gas exists while entering silos.
Agriculture’s future is being ushered in by integrated digital technology that aid in production, monitoring, and planning. Farmers are able to enhance yields while saving resources, identify parts of their fields that require attention more quickly, gather and analyze data, and more as a result of technology developments. Digital technology’ pervasiveness, portability, and mobility are changing agricultural and food production. In particular, the development of mobile technology, remote sensing services, and distributed computing are already boosting smallholders’ access to information, inputs, and markets, therefore increasing output and productivity.
Grain silos have been part of the digital agriculture requirements and are provisioned under various innovations and implementations. The Grains which are placed within the silos are placed towards warm, wet air which is flushed out of storage on a regular basis via aeration cooling. It keeps insects at bay, reduces humidity, and keeps mould at bay. To be most effective, aeration cooling should be activated when the air is coldest and driest.
Aeration controllers monitor the surrounding environment and activate the fans at the most opportune periods. A variety of commercial controllers are now using predictive algorithms to optimize operating times, as well as cloud-based platforms to offer operational and historical data. IoT is also being used within the silo management requirements, wherein TeleSense, an Internet of Things (IoT) company, provides Grain Safe, a scalable artificial intelligence platform that continually monitors temperature and humidity using portable and stationary wireless sensors to deliver a real-time, complete view of stored grain conditions. TeleSense improves its machine-learning algorithms with cloud-based technologies and access to more than 20 million temperature and humidity readings.
Farmers’ on-farm storage capacity has increased substantially in recent years as a result of the installation of additional silos and other storage options. The preservation of grain quality in these storage facilities is a key responsibility. Temperature, moisture, and pests such as weevils, beetles, and mites can all degrade quality. Recognizing this, a variety of technologies have arisen to assist producers and grain handlers in maintaining grain quality in storage and along the supply chain.
Cimbria is one of the largest growing subsidiaries of the AGCO Corporation which has been involved in the development of innovative technologies. It has manufactured square based silos under its new technological implementations. Cimbria square silos are built with strong, trapezoidal, or face-plated steel plates that are welded or fastened to sturdy corner supports. Temperature monitoring systems are critical in storage facilities for preventing loss by alerting operators to possible problems. Inventory management software measures stock levels in grain storage bins or warehouses on a continual basis. All movements within storage bins are logged on a single bin history page and compared daily with the corresponding vessel’s transactions.
GSI Grain Systems is part of the latest innovative development in the technological requirements. It has developed the EVO 50 Grain Silo technologies, which feature an optimized bolt pattern for fewer bolts and fewer holes. Hardware is even more durable with corrosion protection and includes an advanced sealing system for a water-tight seal. The silo structural arrangement is made in such a manner that the Double length sidewall sheets reduce vertical seams and number of bolts by up 50%. EVO 50 uses NZF-2000 zinc-coated hardware that provides 4x better corrosion resistance. The NZF coating is applied without the presence of heat, reducing the chances of a bolt becoming brittle and the potential for failure.
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