So I went on a little adventure today that involved a big truck and a few tonnes of Sorghum. It was interesting to see how the whole process worked. I’ve never really thought about where our basic grain actually arrives into the store. We see all our grains in the store as a processed product, think Wheat > Bread, Barley > Beer or Sorghum > Dog Biscuits. I’ve never seen grain straight from the farm so this was all new to me.
Today, I tagged along with a local farmer named Chris. Chris grows sorghum, as well as wheat, oats and lucerne on his 1000 acre property.
On his property, Chris gave me a little run down on how to drive his giant truck. Moving the truck in the yard was one thing but to drive the beast on the road, I would need a Heavy Combination licence.
Because of the way the trailer is attached behind the rear axle, a semi-trailer reverses very differently to just a regular box trailer or boat. It took a while for me to get used to this as I tried to pull off a three point turn.
Here, we’re loading grain from a storage container into the trailer to take it to the silo. The grain auger on the storage container is running of the PTO on a tractor just out of the picture.
Grain flowing into the back of the tractor. This turned out to be a 10 tonne load of grain. One thing I picked up very fast was that the dust from the crop really hurt your eyes.
At the grain sampling station. The person on the platform basically collects a sample of grain from different points using a long hose vacuum for testing.
With the sample, they test for moisture, size protein and for any contaminants. The machine below is checking the moisture content. In this case (for sorghum) it needed to be under 13.5% to be accepted. Any higher and it would have been rejected to prevent mold in the silo.
Here are some of the silos that are around the place.
Unloading our 10 tonne of sorghum at the silo. All the grain just falls into the ground and gets channeled into the correct silo based on grain quality (determined during the testing phase)
I was surprised at how high the truck could dump!