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Revolutionizing Grain Storage: A Side by Side Comparison of Modern Technology vs Traditional Methods

With Harvest 2023 nearly wrapped up and your grain tucked safely in your bins or moved down the road to your local elevator, we have finally started compiling the data from a side-by-side grain storage experiment.

We undertook this experiment because we wanted real data that we could bring to you with actual results. There are always a lot of variables when it comes to storing grain and keeping it in condition to market, so we wanted to have the data to bring to producers that explained the difference between doing it the way you have always done it and inviting technology to assist in your decision making…because every adjustment that an OPI Grain Management system makes is based on your decisions, you set the parameters, you monitor the grain remotely and make the best choices for your operation.

For this experiment we installed 2 OPI Grain Management systems in nearly identical bins in North Central Iowa in the summer of 2022. The bin labeled ‘Northwest 36’ was ran manually by Brandon Fischer’s (our Service Manager) father-in-law. He has over 40 years of farming experience and ran the bin as he would any other year.

The other site, literally 13 feet away, labeled ‘Southwest 36’ ran with OPI Grain Management Blue. Giving Brandon full control of the fans, the automation to run them, the parameters to control and access to the data in real time.

Grain in the bins was harvested within a week of each other at 19% to 25% moisture and dried down to 16.5% using a grain dryer. The crop was stored from October of 2022 until it was taken to the elevator in May and June of 2023.

The control bin, Northwest 36, had the fans run for a total of 250 hours using 5.5kw of power an hour, for a cost of $154.96. The grain was hauled to town at an average of 14.17%.

The OPI bin, ‘Southwest 36’ automated the fans to run at set parameters and ran a total of 157.8 hours. At the 5.5kw an hour the cost to run the fan was $97.81 for a 37% reduction in fan run time.

North Central Iowa in the winter of 2023 did have blizzard temperatures and caused some shrinkage in both bins, with ‘Northwest 36’ losing $1,350 in shrinkage loss and ‘Southwest 36’ losing $760.

All said and done and scale tickets in hand, there was a total revenue loss in the ‘Northwest 36’ bin of $1,504.96 and in the ‘Southwest 36’ bin we found a $647.15 savings difference.

There is nothing wrong with wanting to be hands on when it comes to storing your grain, the method of turning the fans on manually and coming back in a week may be just fine for you. But at the cost of 32 hours of “babysitting” your bins and climbing up and down to peek in at the progress, we have found that an OPI Grain Management system still gives you the “hands on” control from anywhere, while giving you the smart advantage of using mother nature to get your grain in the condition YOU want.

To find out more about an OPI Grain Management system or to chat about the results we’ve found in this study, contact us 800-741-3305 online at and follow us on Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat @HTSAg

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