Silo Buyer’s Guide

The decision of which silo to buy can be daunting, mainly because it’s a 20+ year investment and not a purchase that is easily returned or traded-in if it proves unsuitable. The following information will help identify the key features to look for when purchasing silos.

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Key Points

  • Buying silos is a significant, long-term investment – take the time to make the right choice.
  • Consider the storage requirements for the next 20 years — not just the next season.
  • For reliable insect control and grain quality maintenance, choose a gas-tight sealable storage, which also has aeration.
  • Gas-tight sealable storage must meet the Australian Standard AS2628.
Silo Purchase - Choose carefully

Choose carefully: While all silos are made to store grain and ‘do the job’, some will
enable superior grain quality management than others.

Quality in – quality out

Maintaining grain quality during storage relies on the ability to control moisture, temperature and insects. It makes sense to look for storage with aeration cooling as well as being gas-tight sealable for effective fumigation.
While aeration cooling won’t reduce grain moisture significantly, it will prevent moisture migration and lower grain temperature. Properly managed aeration cooling provides cool, uniform conditions throughout the storage, which discourages pest infestation and mould growth and maintains grain quality. An added benefit of aeration is that it can be used to ventilate a silo after fumigation in one day, rather than waiting five days.

Insect pest control

Western Australia has given up access to contact pesticides long ago and the eastern states are under increasing pressure to follow suit to protect our markets. This puts added pressure on fumigants, mainly phosphine, to control pests during storage. In order to control pests at all life stages (eggs, larvae, pupae, adult) and prevent further resistance, phosphine and other fumigants are only effective in a gas-tight storage.

Seal the deal: A gas-tight, sealable silo is the only way to ensure a successful fumigation.A little maintenance goes a long way

In the same way that all farm machinery needs regular maintenance to keep it working reliably, so do silos, especially gas-tight sealable silos. A small gas leak can mean the difference between a successful fumigation and insects surviving, leading to loads being rejected upon receival.

Grain hygiene is the other important maintenance component. Well designed silos won’t have areas that trap grain and dust making them quick and easy to clean.

Safety saves lives: Consider the safety features of a silo, a little extra investment could save a worker or your life.Find a safe bet

The WHS (previously OH&S) spotlight continues to shine on agricultural industries and is undoubtedly here to stay. Consider silos that meet state WHS requirements and more importantly can be safely operated by everyone on site.

While some silos come without ladders, mould and insects are often found in the top of a silo before they can be detected at ground level. The main options are to have an WHS compliant ladder, use a safety harness or build a platform that spans along the top of a line of silos.

Silo purchase checklist

Silo Purchase Checklist

Further reading

Grain Storage Facilities (Booklet) Print
1800 11 00 44


Any recommendations, suggestions or opinions contained in this publication do not necessarily represent the policy or views of the Grains Research and Development Corporation. No person should act on the basis of the contents of this publication without first obtaining specific, independent professional advice. The Corporation and contributors to this Fact Sheet may identify products by proprietary or trade names to help readers identify particular types of products. We do not endorse or recommend the products of any manufacturer referred to. Other products may perform as well as or better than those specifically referred to. The GRDC will not be liable for any loss, damage, cost or expense incurred or arising by reason of any person using or relying on the information in this publication.


Any research with unregistered pesticides or of unregistered products reported in this document does not constitute a recommendation for that particular use by the authors or the authors’ organisations. All pesticide applications must accord with the currently registered label for that particular pesticide, crop, pest and region.

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