Versatile Hopper Bins Service Brewster Farms System

Completed Grain Systems

High Level, Alberta, Canada

Versatile Hopper Bins Service Brewster Farms System

In 1997, Brewster Farms at High Level, Alberta set up a 60,000-bushel system serving hopper bins and side bins. It uses a six-inch grain pump to feed four 9,700-bushel hopper bins on the main loop. Behind these, drop-offs from the overhead line serve four 2,000-bushel and three 3,400-bushel flat bottom bins.

Barry Smith Australian grain handling facility at Ariah Park

Hopper bins like these provide versatility to the Brewster Farms operation.

Vertec Mixed Flow Grain Dryer

To the front of the system, a Vertec 6500 continuous flow grain dryer with two extra tiers was added. Above the dump hopper for loading into the system is a 1,700-bushel load-out hopper bin.
When grain comes from the combine dry, Brewster dumps it into the hopper and it's pumped straight into one of the main bins. It can be mixed later with grain from other bins.

Tough grain is dumped by auger into a 4,800-bushel 'wet' hopper bin beside the dryer. The propane-fired dryer automatically takes grain from the wet bin, filling and shutting down by itself. Hot, dry grain from the dryer moves to a 2,200-bushel "cooling" bin that's tied to the system.. As soon as the dried grain cools, it goes into storage with the grain loop.

OPI Systems Temperature Cables

Each bin is equipped with OPI temperature control cables that provide a layer-by layer report.
The entire temperature control system consists of a hand-held monitor and SmartSnap cables. SmartSnap cables are the backbone of the StorMax Temperature Monitoring System. The StorMax monitor collects all of the data in seconds from individual bins or an entire storage facility. All of the data is retained in the on board memory and it can also be downloaded to your PC.

A Grain System with Versatility

The Hutchinson Grain Pump makes a fairly versatile system. The overhead line has four cross drop-off points. One side is connected to the small bins while the other is not yet in use. More bins can be added or, bigger bins can replace the small bins on skids, he uses now.

Brewster Farms' system is 140' long with a 42-foot lift. It uses two single-phase 10-hp electric motors in tandem on one gearbox, pulling from the far end of the pump.
When the system plugs, due to over-filling, it can be drained manually by opening a door at the bottom of the "up" leg. It takes about 10 minutes.

Design capacity may be 2,000 bushels per hour, but real capacity in this system depends on the load. A 500-bushel load of barley may be dropped into the system in 30 minutes or less. The same load of wheat takes 40 minutes.

Things do get tight on the 4,800-acre farm at harvest. Lester, his father and helpers operate two combines and three trucks. One person stays at the grain loop, handling the drying and storage as the trucks come in. The new system, though not perfect, has made huge changes possible for the Brewster's. It has saved time and manpower. He has replaced a bunch of augers and small bins and eliminated the "night shift" bin-loading activity.
"I like the system. It's saved our backs. We used to do everything with augers and shovels. Now, the farm's not such a bad place to work."

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