Storage option to cut costs
A new project to maximise profits of farmers is being developed and offers an alternative to traditional and unsustainable storage options dominating the market.
The Harvest Optimisation project was undertaken by Curtin University’s Professor Ryan Loxton and his team in collaboration with WA company Global Grain Handling Solutions. The project provides farmers with a low-cost and flexible alternative for on-farm grain storage — a sealable tarpaulin tepee, which can be hired and moved every season.
Global Grain Handling Solutions managing director Luke Gamble said the tepee offered the cheapest flow path for crop, straight from farm to ship.
“This will offer a different service model for growers,” he said.
“It’s for farmers to look at tools to how they can do harvest better.”
Mr Gamble described his product as a low-cost form of storing grain, different to the store grain bunkers, silos and “sausage bags” currently used across industry.
“In terms of the sausage bags, farmers burn them every year,” he said. “It’s not sustainable. Our product is more expensive than the bag, but over time it will be far more cost-effective because farmers don’t have to dispose of it.”
The storage option need only incur an infrastructure fee, comparatively small to installing a silo, and a service fee.
Dr Loxton and his team designed a software decision-making tool to go with the product, allowing growers to readily explore their harvest options and identify the most profitable scenarios for their individual farm. “We wanted to use these mathematical skills to make changes and impact farmers directly,” Dr Loxton said.
The software would allow farmers to answer questions like how many tonnes they could expect to get under different conditions or scenarios and compare solutions for the best possible outcome.