Grain storage techniques reviewed

Gloria Hafemeister
Now Media Group


The Columbia County Corn Grower seminar was hosted by Jon and William Herrmann in a machine shed and shop that had previously served as a grain storage building on their 1,600-acre farm.

Jon serves as president of the Columbia County Corn growers and joined his dad in the business eight years ago. He reported that production on their farm was above average in yields this year, averaging more than 200 bushel per acre in corn and 65 bushel for soybeans.

Jon's farm survived a summer tornado that went through the area with what he calls 'a little goose necking.' He said it was fortunate that the temperatures before the storm were unseasonably cool so the corn was not quite as tall as it ordinarily would have been. While it had some damage because the roots were not fully established yet, the corn was also short enough to be able to recover.

Other farms in the Columbus area had much more serious damage, with tall corn flattened in many fields following the midsummer storm.

The Herrmanns started with two 30-foot super steel storage bins and then built the 52-foot-by-100-foot shed.

As the farm grew, the Herrmanns added two batch driers and more storage units. They currently have 250,000 bushel storage capacity.

William Herrmann was instrumental in the formation of the United Grain Producers Ethanol plant in Friesland, where they ship their corn. He is currently vice president of the board of directors.

As hosts of the Columbia County Corn Grower seminar, they invited the attendees to look at their grain storage and drying system and then get advice from grain handling expert John Gnadke in a program sponsored by Dupont Pioneer.

Gnadke evaluated the Herrmann's system and also visited several other Columbia County grain farms to offer advice while he was in Wisconsin for the program.