Sometimes I hear people say that grain bagging is just “temporary storage” as if the time frame differs from storing grain in a bin. And while that’s true the bag is temporary and a bin is a fixed structure to property, the use of both assets is temporary.
While the structure of a grain bin is permanent, the grain you store is not permanent, at some point you are going to sell the grain which makes it also temporary storage. Average storage time to store grain in a grain bin is 6-12months, the same time frame that you can store in a bag.
We talked to one local lender about how he values grain bins. He said that the value of a grain bin is only valued by the person putting it on their property (a fixed asset), the actual value of the grain bin drops significantly whereas with a grain bagger (a non-fixed asset), the used market is very high and you can expect to get 70% of the new value out of your grain bagger. A grain bin does not automatically raise the property value of your farm, the only real value is to you the farmer. But as a percentage of real asset value, a grain bagger is worth more than a grain bin. Plus, he mentioned, the bagger is not a fixed asset item, it is mobile and can move around your farm to store grain where you need it.
Also, as far as grain quality, properly managed grain baggers can keep your grain quality a lot longer than a grain bin because a grain bagger will not experience the shrinkage that the grain in a grain bin does.
The lender also mentioned that “I don’t put a lot of monetary value to the grain bin, no question the grain bin is an asset to farmers on their own property, but for retaining value, you cannot get your value money back out” where you can with a grain bagger.
Grain baggers can also decrease your fuel bill, because you don’t have to drive back and forth to your fixed grain bin structure, you can bag right in the field. Another great tool that grain bagging offers you is that you do not have to pay property taxes on bags, where you have to pay property taxes on a grain bin. Grain bags also do not need fans, so you can save on your electric bills.
In no way are we saying that grain bins are not valuable, they are. They bring value to the farmer, which isn’t something you can determine in hard and fast numbers. But as farming moves into the future, flexible grain storage is going to continue to be a more commonplace form of storage, because after all: all storage is temporary.