Grain storage structures

Grain storage structures is an important type of structure in which various grains can be stored for a long term period more safely.

In order to deal with present and future demand of the rising inhabitants for the food grains, it’s emphasized to reduce the lack of seeds during and after harvest by building a suitable and security grain storage structure.

Seeds are suitably saved for proper and balanced public distribution throughout the year.

It is noticed that post-harvest losses of grains in India are estimated to be around 10 per cent.

Types of grain storage structures:

Following are the four types of grain storage structure


Traditional storage structure:

In this type of storage structures, grain is usually stored in bulk.

This type of storage structure typically has capacities between 1 and 50 tons.

Grain storage is usually done in one of the following storage structures in various rural and urban areas of India, along with bulk storage as well as bag storage.

Modern storage structure:

Large quantities of food grains are stored in bulk, this is the ‘silo’ and traditional warehouse (shed) designed for storage.

Sidewalls of a go-down are fabricated from brick or stone masonry on metal trusses and sloping roofs in asbestos or corrugated galvanized iron (CGI) sheets.

Mostly, silos are constructed from both metal and reinforced concrete.

Any modern large / capacity processing plant has a group of adjacent silos.

Modern permanent storage systems should be selected to preserve stored grains and other products.

Modern storage structures should be chosen first on the basis of quality and then on the basis of cost.


Improved storage structure:

In Improved storage structures, some improvements have been made to traditional storage structures.

These types of storage structures have a larger storage capacity for long-term storage of food grains than conventional storage structures.

Improved types of storage structures typically have a range of 1.5 to 150 tons.

Grain storage is usually done in one of the following storage structures in various rural and urban areas of India.

Farm silos:

A silo is an airtight tower, tank, pit, or plastic bag, into which a little of the uprooted crops are poured and sealed.

Microorganisms produce propionic acid to preserve the crop.

Different types of silos include:

Sealed Silo:

It is used for better grain pest control.

Insects in stored grains should be controlled because they damage the grains and excrete moisture that can move into the headspace and cause molding.

Silo bag:

A silo bag is good for storing grains, even if they are wet.

It is made of a three-layer film and offers UV safety.

Aerated silos:

An aerated silo is designed particularly for fine powders.

The fabric is aerated by pumping air into the underside of the silo, making it act as a fluid through the discharge of the fabric from the underside of the silo.

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The requirement of good grain storage structure:

  • The grains produced should be thoroughly cleaned and graded.
  • Storage structure should be constructed in the coolest portion of the farm or house.
  • The structure should be able to take the load of seeds stored and should not allow any exchange with the outside humid air.
  • Seed storage structure should be cleaned and disinfected.
  • Storage structure should ‘be durable for long term storage.
  • For the purpose of a safe storage period of 6 to 12 months, dried to the safe storage moisture level for (1) Cereals Is 10-12 % (ii) Oilseeds is 7-9 % (on wet basis).
  • Storage structure should provide the most safety from floor moisture, rain; rats, birds, moulds, rodents, ants, insects and so on.
  • Storage structure needs to be economical and suitable for a selected situation.
  • Storage construction needs to be constructed in such a way that it may present the necessary facility for inspection, &infection, loading and unloading, cleaning and reconditioning.
  • The storage structure should be constructed in such a way that it can protect grain from excessive moisture content or humidity and temperature.

Advantages of Grain Storage Structures:

  1. More control and planning over crops and transportation.
  2. Improvement in quality of grains in origin.
  3. More control of weight and quality of shipment.
  4. Greater flexibility and control for grain distribution.
  5. Pricing can be done multiple times after harvest.
  6. Reducing the cost of arbitration.

Disadvantages of Grain Storage Structures:

  1. Fire and explosion hazard, unfortunately very common in grain elevators.
  2. Accidents due to the risk of suffocation and poisoning.
  3. Drug addiction risk due to the use of fumigants and pesticides.
  4. The risk of suffocation when silos open by the accumulation of carbon dioxide.

Also, read 1. Pneumatic Structures 2. Folded plate structures 3. Space Frame Structure

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is traditional storage structure?

Bhukhari, Morai, Kothar.

What are the characteristics of storage structure for grains?

It should be easy to clean, it should provide protection from rodents, birds and other animals & it should be waterproof and moisture proof.

How long can grain be stored in silos?

A single silo stored from 60 to 80 tons of wheat, with proper precautions, kept in good condition for four years or more.

What is the one food that never spoils?



Storage of grains is a very important aspect of agriculture as it is necessary to protect the grains from insects, rodents, etc. after harvesting so that they are often consumed and preserved for a longer period in grain storage structures.


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