Shopping for silos at the recent Nampo harvest day in Bothaville, BP Greyling, from Wakkerstroom in Mpumalanga and the 2011 Agricultural Writers’ Association’s Farmer of the Year, was told he could only be helped next year because of the high demand. Greyling said the benefits of having his own facilities included higher profit margins. “I’ll be able to harvest my maize two months earlier because I can dry it myself and then get it on the market earlier. The interest on having the income from the maize in my bank account for two extra months adds to my profitability.”
Kobus Steenekamp of Monsanto SA said the farmer’s risk was also reduced if the maize was taken off the lands quicker. “Once the maize starts drying, it can be susceptible to pests. The cobs can also start falling off the plant, so if it’s harvested before it’s too dry, the yield will increase.” Stephan van Rensburg, sales director of GSI Africa, agreed the concept was fast gaining acceptance.
“There are just too many advantages to having your own silo and the financial savings are one of them. Farmers can save on fuel and labour expenses as they don’t have to send trucks to the co-op silos where they wait in queues. “Farmers can also store their grain until market prices are more favourable and they can do their own drying and cleaning, which usually results in a better price for their product.” Van Rensburg also said the sizes of the ordered facilities were getting bigger, because yields were increasing. He advised farmers to calculate their return on investment. “Those far away will find it’s worth it to put up their own silo.”