Roman Friesen Regional Sales Manager for Convey-All Conveyors, Meridian Manufacturing

There’s a growing trend among seed growers as more and more shift away from augers and move toward conveyors. We’re seeing this all across North America, but one of the hottest areas has been in regions where soybeans are taking hold.

For instance, as you move into the Canadian Prairies we’re seeing more maturity options available for this climate and farmers have rapidly been adding them to their rotation. In fact, Canada’s farmers planted a record number of soybeans this year at 7.3 million acres, up 33.2 percent from 2016.

But handling soybean seed is a whole different matter. Seed growers need equipment that’s not as harsh as an auger, which can leave the seed damaged with splits. That’s where the conveyor comes in. Conveyors provide gentler handling, helping seed growers to deliver a higher quality product. After all seed is one of the most valuable inputs a farmer can buy today. Each and every seed is expected to perform.

While a conveyor looks similar to an auger, it operates entirely different. Because our conveyors are made with rubber belts, which move the seed, there’s less wear and tear on the entire system; whereas, with an auger, you essentially have metal on metal.

We’ve found that a conveyor will outlast the traditional auger two to three times before a belt has to be replaced or any type of maintenance is required. Granted conveyors do have a higher upfront cost, but when you consider the maintenance required on an auger within a 10-year-period, we’re finding most people see the benefit.

Not only is there a seed handling and maintenance benefit, but also a safety benefit. The conveyors run much quieter than an auger. When you’re working on a farm or at a seed site, being able to hear what’s going on around you is critical.

Our conveyors range in size and capacity from a 6-inch tube conveyor with an 8-inch belt with a capacity of 450 bushels per hour, to a 14-inch tube conveyor with a 22-inch belt with a capacity of 13,000 bushels per hour. Our capacity is calculated with a handling angle of 25 degrees and based on grain handling.

One of the things we take great pride in is providing high quality equipment that’s built for heavy duty use. And we can custom build conveyors to meet the needs of seed growers to fit their existing setup. We expect this trend to continue and look to meet market needs.