Where to Find a Silo for Sale in South Africa
South Africa’s agricultural sector is a lucrative one. It contributes 10% to the country’s total earnings through export. The country’s agricultural sector is diverse and produces most grains, with a large focus on maize. It can even be said that maize carries the most importance when it comes to South African grain production. This is because maize forms part of the staple diet of a large part of the South African population. Maize is an affordable food source for many poverty-stricken South Africans, and it is thus extremely important that the agricultural sector produces the required amount of maize per year.
A large part of successful maize production is the correct drying and storing methods. If the correct storage method isn’t used, entire crops can go to waste.
The Purpose of a Silo
Silos are specially designed structures that are used as storage systems for a multitude of grains, including maize. They are primarily used as long-term storage, to prevent grains from pest and fungal infestations, however, technology has advanced in such a way that silos can be used to dry, clean, fumigate, grade, and turn grains. This evolution in silo technology has occurred due to the advancement in harvesting methods.
Today, maize is harvested with combines that immediately shells them. Shelling is the process of removing the kernel from the other parts of the plant. This method of immediate shelling results in the maize being too high in moisture to store immediately. Thus, silos are equipped to dry the maize before storing it permanently.
Maize Silos for Sale: Which Silo Should You Choose?
Silos are usually constructed from steel or cement. There are also varying shapes of silos, depending on the farmer’s needs. These shapes can include rectangular, cylindrical, hexagonal, or octagonal shapes. Silos can also differ in their bin type and can come as either a flat bottom or a hopper bottom.
The shape and bin type are completely dependant on the silo’s purpose, however, another important consideration is what material to opt for.
There are multiple characteristics of steel silos that should be considered.
- Steel silos are made up of pre-manufactured parts that are entirely controlled and consistent, ensuring your silo comes out to the exact measurements advertised or requested.
- They are simple to construct once the parts have been delivered, and can be easily modified to include extra doors and more.
- They are airtight if all of the openings are sealed correctly.
- Steel silos are usually cheaper than cement silos.
- Steel silos do not necessarily need a constructed foundation.
- Steel silos are usually shorter, with a larger diameter.
Depending on your requirements, a cement silo could be the best option for you.
- Cement silos are more difficult to construct, especially because the weather conditions need to be ideal. Cement also has a 2–3-hour window in which it needs to be used when building, otherwise it will begin to dry.
- Cement silos need a constructed foundation to provide proper support.
- They are taller than steel silos and are a good option if space, in terms of diameter, is an issue.
- They are airtight if all of the openings are sealed.
- Cement silos are generally more costly to construct.
Plastic Silos for Sale: Are They a Viable Option?
Plastic silos are a viable option for maize storage; however, it is currently seen as a storage option better suited to smaller agricultural operations. Plastic is a multifaceted material that has the potential to become a regularly utilised silo material in large agricultural enterprises.
- It is a cheaper option than both steel and cement silos.
- They are more durable than some steel silos.
- Plastic does not rust the way steel does.
- Plastic silos are easier to relocate if need be.
- The maintenance and cleaning of a plastic silo is easier and more efficient.
Where to Find a Silo to Suit Your Needs
Finding a trusted silo provider can be daunting as it is a big investment for your agricultural enterprise. At AgriFoodSA, we have a large directory that can connect you with a trusted silo provider in your area.
Click here to search our directory, and find the provider that best suits your needs.