FS Construction Services grain site preparation

The Importance of Storage System Site Preparation

We all know why cleanliness matters, for people, houses, and pets. However, not everyone realizes just how important it is to keep the handling equipment and storage structures for grain clean. Or, as a recent Illinois Ag News article puts it, “Your grain will only be as clean as the site in which its handled and stored.” If you think about it for a moment, it makes sense, but not just because dirty grain sounds gross. Grain residue that hasn’t been cleaned up has a good chance of rotting or attracting insects, and moldy or pest-riddled grain leftover in the bottom of a bin can contaminate new grain that gets added. Fortunately, with just a little time and maintenance, spoiled grain is easily preventable thus, ensuring the highest possible quality and return on your investment.

The first step, naturally, is cleaning up after yourself, not just the actual storage bin itself either, but the various means of grain transportation like trucks, storage systems and drying, aeration, handling and transfer equipment. Grain is tiny and can get into small places, which, while annoying to clean, is a lot less annoying than the host of issues caused by rotten grain. To clean the surfaces where you will hold or transport grain, it is recommended to:

  • Sweep and vacuum where old grain has been. Clear out the old grain and get rid of its dust and residue.
  • Clean under the floor of the grain bin. If the floor can’t be removed, use a fumigant with aluminum phosphide (such as Weevil-cide) to clear out insects in the subfloor. (Note that aluminum phosphide, while effective, is also very toxic, and should be applied by a certified fumigator.)

Once the cleaning is done, there are some simple, preventative measures you can take to keep moisture and pests from affecting crops that will be stored in your grain bin.

  • Seal up cracks or gaps in the structure. Look for areas where light or moisture appears to be leaking in.
  • Areas around doors and hatches are susceptible to this, so be sure to check the seals.
  • Treat the interior surfaces of the bin with a residual bin spray two to three weeks before filling.

It may seem a bit like busy work, and to most people cleaning isn’t very fun, but the headaches you’ll save yourself down the road by following these simple instructions are well worth the effort.

If you are in the market for grain storage, grain drying, or grain handling equipment, please let Gateway FS Construction Services know. Give us a call at 866-551-3454, and let our specialists help you find exactly what you are looking for. We look forward to providing you the best customer service experience.

Gateway FS Construction Services

How Seed Treatment Benefits Corn and Soybeans

At FS Construction Services, we’ve noticed just how rapidly the use of seed treatment has increased over the years. In fact, we recently dedicated an entire three-month series to seed treatment and its general benefits. However, we thought it might be helpful to focus a little more specifically on how seed treatment can benefit corn and soybeans.

By coating the actual seed with micronutrients, insecticides, or fungicides, the issues that come along with erosion and dust off are largely avoided. In a recent article published in Farm Progress, a grower with 40+ years experience noted, “I can plant earlier, cold or wet soils, and I’m protected. I get higher yields and by planting earlier in the spring and I have drier corn in the fall… I don’t have to broadcast pesticides anymore. Seed treatments have changed my management practices.”

Similarly, in another Farm Progress article on the benefits of seed treatment on soybeans, the author states, “One very tangible benefit to a complete seed treatment package occurred this year when many growers were able to plant their bean crops two to three weeks earlier than normal.”

Of course, it’s not just about planting early, and any new or additional technology added to the process increases upfront investment, but the growers we’ve spoken with agree that the payoff is way greater than the investment. The general consensus on seed treatment for corn and soybeans is that seed treatment creates better crops at a higher yield. Referencing the above article again, “We’ve used seed treatments on soybeans for five years, and did side-by-side tests the first two years… We’ve seen a consistent yield increase of between 2 and 5 bu./acre.”

Now we understand that there are no magic wands in this business, but the technological advances of agriculture in recent years are pretty remarkable. As for seed treatment, it will only continue to get more precise and more efficient as time goes on. Better and newer software makes consistent results easily achievable, and there is more equipment than ever to find the right match for you.

If you have any questions on seed treatment, or you would like to look at one of the many seed treaters our partners have available, please let Gateway FS Construction Services know. Give us a call at 866-551-3454, and let our specialists help you find exactly what you are looking for. We look forward to providing you the best customer service experience.

Economic benefits of proper grain storage

The Huge Economic Benefits of Proper Grain Storage

One of our most frequent jobs here at FS Construction Services is the planning and construction of new grain storage bins. So while it stands to reason that we obviously believe they provide value, we thought it might be helpful to reinforce just how many economic benefits proper grain storage provides.

Because grain market prices are often lowest during harvest, most growers understandably hold on to their grain for a little while until prices rise. Unfortunately, grain can’t simply be dumped and forgotten until it’s needed again. The better the grain is stored, the less likely it is to be spoiled or ravaged by pests. According to an article in Illinois Ag News, improperly stored grain can cost farmers up to 20% of their yield. The alarming, though perhaps not surprising reality, is that it doesn’t take much to significantly alter the quality of the grain being stored. Dry corn, which is defined as having 13% or less moisture, can be stored up to a year at 30˚F. However, just four days at 26% moisture and 60˚F can cut that corn’s storage life in half.

An old or poorly maintained storage bin is not only at risk of letting in too much moisture, but also harmful pests that can ruin your stored harvest. On the flip side, properly built, maintained and operationally efficient bulk grain storage can provide: lower labor/operating costs, less waste, better fumigation, and longer storage times.

So while high quality grain storage and handling systems do have an upfront investment for the grower, the benefits will be recognized, year after year, with good grain that can wait for the ideal market price to come around.

Once such instance occurred recently when our team of grain storage professionals installed a new Shivvers Remote LINK Grain Management System. With a simple login from his smartphone, our customer was able to manage his drying operation remotely and track the system’s performance. Advantages like this and many other are making it more profitable than ever for growers to maximize the return on their harvest.

If your grain storage is in need of a update or you have questions about the most current grain drying and storage equipment, please let Gateway FS Construction Services know. Give us a call at 866-551-3454, and let our specialists help you find exactly what you are looking for. We look forward to providing you the best customer service experience.

FS Construction Services seed treatment equipment

Seed Treatment Services #3 of 3: FSCS Seed Treatment Equipment

With spring on the near horizon and planting season just around the corner, FS Construction Services is going to take a look at one of our most popular services, Seed Treatment, and highlight a different aspect of that service. For this third month, we are going to cover seed treatment equipment.

We know that no operation is the same and that seed treaters come in all different shapes and sizes, from tabletop to larger capacity to commercial options to portable treaters. For this reason, we have established a number of partnerships over the years so no matter the amount of seed that needs treating, we have the right equipment to get the job done. One of the most common treaters we install, the LP-series by USC, come in a variety of makes, models, and customizations, assuring the equipment will suit your needs. Additionally, our seed treatment specialists have pretty much done and seen it all and are able to provide advice and guidance on purchasing and installation decisions.

However, when it comes to seed systems, FS Construction Services does much more than installation. While we often work on projects where we are dealing with brand-new equipment, we are also able to retrofit parts of older systems with newer parts to improve consistency, functionality, and longevity.

Speaking of new equipment, increasingly seed systems are relying on new technology and automation to help ensure accurately-coated batches time after time. We also understand that some of these new systems come with a steep learning curve, which is why our specialists will stay however long is needed after installation to help ensure clients how to interface with their new hardware and software for the best possible outcome.

If you have any questions or inquiries about seed treatment, please let Gateway FS Construction Services know. Give us a call at 866-551-3454, and let our specialists help you find exactly what you are looking for. We look forward to providing you the best customer service experience.

Gateway FS Construction Services GROWMARK Scholarship

GROWMARK Foundation Scholarship for Agriculture Students

It will come as no surprise to any of our friends, followers, or clients that we here at FS Construction Services put a high value on the importance of agriculture and that much of our day-to-day work puts us in close contact with farmers and other agricultural specialists. So we are very excited to announce that GROWMARK, the company that owns the FS trademark, is once again offering the GROWMARK Foundation Scholarship for students pursuing a degree (two or four-year) or trade-school certification in an agriculture-related field. This $1500 scholarship is open to students in the class of 2019.

Amy Bradford, GROWMARK’s Corporate Communications Manager, said of the program, “GROWMARK and the FS member cooperatives are strong supporters of youth leadership education and this is one more way we can contribute to the future of agriculture.”

And we couldn’t agree more. Especially with such rapid changes in technology as we’ve experienced in the past couple decades, it is as important as ever that we encourage those interested in agriculture to study and help contribute to the continued growth and flourishing of such an important field.

Those interested in applying must complete an online application which will ask for the following: academic information, community service, leadership activities, and essay questions related to agriculture and cooperatives. Completed applications will be judged by a panel of agribusiness professionals. High school seniors or students at any level of higher education are eligible to apply for the GROWMARK Foundation Scholarship. Applications can be completed at www.growmark.com/scholarship and are due by midnight on April 12, 2019. Recipients will be notified by July 1, 2019. For more information, please visit GROWMARK or contact Karen Jones at 309-557-6184.

As always, if you are in need of buildings, grain systems, seed systems, or other services, please let Gateway FS Construction Services know. Give us a call at 866-551-3454, and let our specialists help you find exactly what you are looking for. We look forward to providing you the best customer service experience.

Gateway FS Construction Services seed treatment services

Seed Treatment Services Series #2 of 3: Benefits of Seed Treatment

For the first few months of this new year, FS Construction Services is going to take a look at one of our most popular services, Seed Treatment, and highlight a different aspect of that service each month. For this second month, we are going to cover some of the unique benefits of seed treatment.

Seed treatment is the quickly growing practice of treating seeds with specific compounds to achieve specific outcomes before they are planted. The purpose of this could be to protect the seeds from pests or to simply provide additional nutrients directly to the seed. With the continued advancement of seed treating technology, it’s possible to treat massive quantities of seed with precise applications that stay consistent from batch to batch, making it a much more achievable process than ever before. For many growers, the benefit-to-cost ratio sways greatly towards benefit!

As you can imagine, seeds that aren’t busy fighting insects or rot are much more likely to grow into healthy, bountiful plants. This is particularly true of seeds planted in colder, damper soil, where rot and pest problems are more likely to occur. However, the application process itself provides benefit beyond just overarching protection. Specific seed-by-seed treatment is far more efficient and effective than soil treatment, where basic erosion can decrease the amount of treatment that actually reaches the seed.

We at FS Construction Services are uniquely qualified to help you decide what kind of seed treatment services you may need. Along with our partners at USC and Meridian, we have the seed treatment knowledge necessary to help you determine the best seed treatment solution for you.

If you are interested in learning more about seed treatment or you would like to look at our seed systems, please let Gateway FS Construction Services know. Give us a call at 866-551-3454, and let our specialists help you find exactly what you are looking for. We look forward to providing you the best customer service experience.

FS Construction Services grain bin

Project Profile: Customized 42’ Grain Bin

One of the benefits of being in the business as long as we have at FS Construction Services is that every client is different and no two jobs are exactly the same. We have built a lot of grain storage bins throughout the years and while there have been many jobs with similar details, there is always something just a little bit different, just a little bit unique, to make that job its very own. Sometimes we don’t do much more than put up a structure, and sometimes we are putting up that structure and filling it with every possible accessory available. From the littlest to the most, each job has its own requirements and we’re here to help our clients find exactly the right pieces to make their set up work.

Recently, we got to build a 42’ tall, 10-ring grain bin with a capacity of 47,000 bushels. But in order for it to perform exactly the way our client needed it to, we installed a specific set of accessories to guarantee a satisfied customer. One of the benefits of working with our friends at Sukup is that we’ve been partners for so long, we have a good idea of how their products go together to get the best results. For this project, we installed dual centrifugal 20hp fans for enhanced drying capabilities, a double run conveyor for filling with a shorter auger, a power sweep, a gravity spreader, a 3-phase drive, and stairs wrapping around the outside of the bin for safety.

Delivered on schedule and on budget, our client had exactly what they would need going forward for continued success. While it may not have been anything extravagant and may even look like some of our other jobs it was the exact right pieces for this job.

If you are in need of grain storage, grain drying, or grain handling and transfer equipment, please let Gateway FS Construction Services know. Give us a call at 866-551-3454, and let our specialists help you find exactly what you are looking for. We look forward to providing you the best customer service experience.

Gateway FS Construction Services preseason discounts

Preseason Discounts Still Available!

At FS Construction Services, we know that the holiday season is an important time of rest and relaxation for many. A time to hopefully unwind and focus on things that aren’t work related. We just wanted to let you know that when the time comes around for you to get back to thinking about all that needs to be done, our team we’ll be here to help.

One of the topics to keep top of mind are the multiple preseason discounts available from multiple manufacturers on superior Grain Storage and Handling systems. Our manufacturer partners are currently offering a number of discounts. So if you find yourself in the position where you’d like to get a jump on the next season, let us know. We can help you find the right offer that gets you what you need at the price you want. Additionally, securing your place on our construction calendar early guarantees you’ll have the work done when you need it, and won’t find yourself in a position where you have grain to store and no bin to store it in.

We know that life is unexpected and the market can be volatile, so whether you need additional storage for 2019, or you want to be able to store your harvest for as long as needed without it spoiling or rotting, please let us know. From helping determine the right equipment for the job to building a sturdy, dependable structure, our team of construction professionals are happy to work with you on any project.

If you are interested in taking advantage of our preseason pricing, feel free to contact Nathan Koester or Justen Kempfer, our FS Construction Services experts, at 866-551-3454. And be sure to check back with us often, we like to let our customers and clients know when there are new deals available.

If you are in need of grain storage, grain drying, or grain handling and transfer equipment, please let Gateway FS Construction Services know. Give us a call at 866-551-3454, and let our specialists help you find exactly what you are looking for. We look forward to providing you the best customer service experience.

Gateway FS Construction Services Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas from FS Construction Services

Somehow, another year has already gone by, and we find ourselves looking at another holiday season. It seems like the holidays come quicker and quicker each year, and with the busyness of life, it can be hard to slow down and appreciate them. So to our friends, families, neighbors, and clients, we want to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. We hope that you are able to find a little time at the end of this month to look back at 2018 and be thankful for the good things and find peace with some of the harder things.

At FS Construction Services we are thankful for the many clients and friends who have given us the opportunity to work with them and be a part of their lives this year. It’s because of you that we have been able to provide over 40 years of service to the southern Illinois area. It’s the work we love doing in the places we love doing it, and we are thankful to have had another year serving our clients and are excited for what 2019 will bring.

As you look forward to the year to come, with everything that needs to be done and everything you hope will be done, we hope you will consider FS Construction Services. From residential, commercial, and agricultural buildings to grain systems, seed systems, garage doors, roofing, and many other types of services, we have trained experts who can help you with the biggest job to the smallest one – except for wrapping presents! For that, you are on your own.

If you have questions, need an estimate, or just need some advice, please let Gateway FS Construction Services know. Give us a call at 866-551-3454, and let our specialists help you find exactly what you are looking for. We look forward to providing you the best customer service experience in the coming new year!

Gateway FS Construction Service grain systems

Project Profile: 24,800 Bushel Grain Bin Just in Time

At FS Construction Services, we have experience with all kinds of different projects. From large, demanding, commercial projects to those requiring more routine maintenance work, we’ve pretty much seen it all. There are times when our team needs to be on site for weeks, building, installing, and training. Regardless of the duration or the type of project we are assisting customers with, we are all about planning our work… and working that plan.

This was the case recently on a brand-new grain bin project. We worked closely with our customer in the evaluation of their needs, recommendation of the right system to accomplish those needs and then planning and executing the installation. Working with proper lead time, our team was able to complete the project and have it up and running in time for harvest. The 7-ring Sukup grain bin has a storage capacity of 24,800 bushels, an 8” power sweep, an axial fan, and stairs around the outside of the bin for safety and convenience. Additionally, we installed a Gravity Grain Spreader, which not only provides uniform grain distribution, but also requires less maintenance overall, and Hawk Cut flooring, which is twice as strong as smooth-bin floors.

Our team, led by Nathan Koester, was quick to get to work on this large structure, making sure all the new equipment was installed and ready to go by the time our team rolled out. Our client was ready to go into harvest with everything they needed for a successful year. Thanks in large part to our long-lasting partnership with Sukup, our team is able to work quickly and efficiently with their equipment and buildings, allowing us to execute a well-planned construction project.

If you are in need of grain storage, grain drying, or grain handling and transfer equipment, please let Gateway FS Construction Services know. Give us a call at 866-551-3454, and let our specialists help you find exactly what you are looking for. We look forward to providing you the best customer service experience.