Farm grain storage capacity had doubled over the past ten years with growers now able to store 41 per cent of their production capacity on average.
Pro Advice consultant and coordinator of the Grains Research Development Corporation funded national grain storage project, Chris Warwick said he is often asked about the cheapest form of on farm storage as opposed to what is the best economic fit for a businesses production, marketing and operational structure.
"It's important to differentiate between cheap and good value when it comes to grain storage and there's more to it than a pure dollar figure," he said.
"Considering the requirements and nature of the business, and the people involved within it, is key to ensuring that any investment in a grain storage system represents value for money.
"For example, if storage is only going to be required as a short term measure and the business doesn't experience labour stress at harvest time, bags and bunkers may be a viable option.
"However, in instances where there's no excess labour at harvest and flexibility is required for longer term storage, a better option might be gas-tight, sealable silos with aeration cooling which will allow for grain quality preservation and insect control.
"If growers opt to go down that path, their next decision centres on which silo brand to choose, generally you get what you pay for with grain storage but where the inherent value lies is in designing the whole system well, implementing a best-practice integrated pest management and monitoring program and adhering to hygiene recommendations."
Mr Warrick said on-farm storage generally required multiple financial benefits to cover costs and urged growers to analyse the costs and expected returns, weigh up all options and make informed decisions.
"Like many economic comparisons in farming, the viability of grain storage is different for each grower," he said.
"Depending on the business's operating style, the location, the resources and the most limiting factor to increase profit, grain storage may or may not be the next best investment.
"Therefore everyone needs to do a simple cost benefit analysis for their own operation.
"To make a sound financial decision, it's important to compare the expected returns from grain storage versus expected returns from other farm business investments, such as more land, a chaser bin, a wider boomspray, a second truck or paying off debt.
"The other comparison is to determine whether grain can be stored on-farm cheaper than paying a bulk handler to store it."
Visit storedgrain.com.au for more information.