The Value of Flexibility

- Kevin Malica

When it comes to agricultural equipment, so much of it is bulky, intended for only one or maybe two purposes, and is used for only a few months of the year. As such, some of the most progressive owners and managers have been custom-hiring more and more of their production tasks. Financially, it just makes sense not to have capital tied up in expensive equipment that is only in operation for part of the year. I’m mostly referring to planters, combines and sprayers, but you get the point.

If you’re expanding storage and holding capacity, why not consider something that gives you flexibility to store different products throughout the year as needed. Most contractors and design engineers will encourage you to build or consider a site plan that is flexible, growing with you as the business grows and adapting to new technologies that come onto the market.

When you’re planning the placement and type of storage bins, that very same thought should be taken into consideration. Do you want to put a bin in a place where it’s hard to access and can really only store a single product? In some cases, the answer will be “yes,” depending on the operation and task at hand. However, most of the time, having the flexibility to add more bins to a site and store multiple products will provide the best ROI, both short term and long term.

Meridian’s SmoothWall hopper bins’ exterior has a premium powder coating which is also available on the interior, so they can store a multitude of products. For example, in the spring leading up to planting you can store fertilizer. Then, during the fall, they can be cleaned out and made ready to store seed or grain through the winter months. Consider your operation. How many turns or cycles would you be able to get out of a bin that can store a number of products?

I’ve seen these things with everything in them, ranging from seed to feed, and from cereals to fertilizers and other agricultural inputs.

If storing multiple products in a single bin throughout the year makes you cringe due to the possibility of contamination, the hopper’s SmoothWall design makes for a much easier cleanout and helps to ensure nothing is left behind from the previous product.

In a low commodity price environment and a world that is ever-changing, we must be able to grow, pivot and adapt to what’s needed. Building in the flexibility to do so will make that change a little easier, and save some dollars.