FS Construction Services grain bin vent maintenance

Dryer Bin Vent Maintenance Will Save You Money

It is a universal truth that a little bit of maintenance goes a long way toward saving yourself future costs and headaches. And while winter is already here, it’s not too late to perform a little grain dryer bin vent maintenance. Do this work now, and your future self will owe you a huge debt of gratitude come spring.

What follows are a series of maintenance tips, particularly dryer bin vent safety tips, that will prevent trouble down the road.

  1. Make sure roof vents are clear of dust and debris, so that when they open, they are able to release the moisture necessary to effectively dry grain. Clogged vents can cause pressure to build from the fans working harder to pump air through the system. While grain bins are designed to withstand significant exterior pressure, interior pressure can cause buckling, holes, and puckering of the roof. The repair process is labor and time intensive, and can involve emptying the entire bin.
  2. Perform regular visual inspections to make sure the structure appears clean and clear.
  3. Keep the entire roof, not just the grain bin vents, free of debris and dirt.
  4. Make sure you have enough grain bin roof vents in place. The general rule of thumb to follow is one square foot of roof vent for every horsepower of motor/fan (i.e. a 7 HP fan will require 7 sq. ft. of venting).

The regular upkeep and maintenance of your grain storage system will ensure it provides well-stored, dried, and quality grain year after year. If you are in need of grain drying, grain storage, 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.

FS Construction Services thank you veterans

Remembering our Nation’s Brave Veterans

As we enter this time of year, it seems like there are no shortage of opportunities to pause, reflect, and be grateful for the things that we have. ­­From New Years to Christmas to Thanksgiving, the roller coaster of holidays and festivities can seem endless. The busyness of this time of year can also make it feel impossible to do the thing we’re constantly told we should be doing: slowing down, taking stock, and finding gratefulness, including for our veterans.

Monday, November 11, presents another one of those opportunities, albeit on a day when most businesses will still be open and most people working. Though there may not be presents or parties, Veteran’s Day is no less important a day to commemorate.

At FS Construction Services, we know how busy a day can get and how fast a day can go. We know how easy it is to blink and suddenly it’s 10pm and you have no idea where the time went. But this November 11 we ask that you join us and make the time to remember. Find a few minutes to consider the cost that the men and women who have served our country have paid, the nights they’ve spent away from their families, and the danger they have put themselves in. How our nation’s veterans have willingly set aside their freedoms and safety to protect our homes and our families.

So to all the veterans far and wide: thank you. Your sacrifice is a remarkable thing and it will not be easily forgotten or overlooked.

As always, FS Construction Services is here for your buildinggarage doorgrain systemseed systemroofing, and other handiwork needs. Our group of experts and specialists are always happy to answer your questions, give you advice, or help you in any way. Please feel free to reach out to Gateway FS Construction Services. You can 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 fall maintenance

Preventing Winter Emergencies with Fall Maintenance

With the days already getting shorter and (occasionally) cooler, as sudden as ever, summer is has ended and fall has begun. And while there’s always the hope of a couple of calm, temperate autumn months, winter usually shows up sooner than anyone wants. It’s all too easy to overestimate the amount of time you have left until the real cold starts and all too common to leave winter-preparation maintenance tasks undone once it does.

It really doesn’t take long to come up with around-the-house work to do before winter:

  • Clean gutters and downspouts
  • Seal gaps and cracks in windows and doors
  • Repair damaged or corroded roof shingles and flashing
  • Drain outdoor faucets, hoses, and irrigation systems
  • Inspect heating systems and furnaces, cleaning and replacing filters when necessary
  • Have all gas equipment inspected
  • Test all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors

And of course, this list could go on and on. The truth is that any of the aforementioned residential maintenance projects also apply to agricultural and commercial properties as well, albeit usually with a lot more time and effort involved. Grain bins, seed systems, storage sheds, post-frame buildings, and more, all need the same kind of attention and work to ensure they not only last the winter months, but are ready for use come spring as well. We all know winter is hard on buildings, and even small things like trapped water or gaps along windows can wreak havoc if not tended to.

If you are in need of some help getting your grain storage or transfer equipment, buildings, seed systems, or more ready for the months to come, 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.

Preventative Maintenance recommendations Gateway FS Construction Services

The Importance of Pre-Harvest Maintenance Recommendations

Somehow, this year has flown by and it’s already September, which means it’s time to make sure that all of your grain drying and handling equipment is ready for the harvest. We’ve been around long enough at FS Construction Services to know how tempting it is to avoid the upfront cost or hassle of pre-harvest maintenance, but we also know how much time, money, and inconvenience it can save you down the road. A little money to prevent a problem in September is significantly better than having to fix a broken piece of equipment in the middle of harvest.

You may already know if your system or equipment is experiencing difficulty or is in need of maintenance. If you’re not sure, however, it’s worth asking yourself a few questions. Is your grain drying unevenly? Did you experience any mold or spoilage after last year’s harvest? Have your structures been subject to severe weather or wear? Have you had high-moisture crops or been running out of room to store your grain? If so, it may be time for some preseason maintenance.

If your systems are in need of repair or you just want to head into harvest with confidence, our Grain Systems Specialists will be more than happy to help. Our service technicians are highly trained and experienced, so whether it’s catching problems before they begin or diagnosing current issues, they will work to ensure your grain systems are ready to run strong through the entire season.

If you are in the market for new or upgraded grain storage, grain drying, grain handling equipment or agricultural structures, 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.

Help farmers Gateway FS Construction Services seed treatment systems

Project Profile: Helping A Client Help Farmers

One of the things we like most about our work at FS Construction Services is that we never know just how far our services will extend or how many people will be affected by the job we do. Often, the clients we work with are the direct beneficiaries of the new or upgraded equipment and structures we install. Every now and again, though, we get to do work where the people who benefit most from it could be people we never even meet.

Over the course of three days this spring, we got to meet and work with a local business whose primary goal is to help farmers find the right seed, planting patterns, and data to ensure they can have success year in and year out. One of their many services involves treating customers’ seed, which is why we installed a brand-new LPV box-to-box seed treater. This treater, equipped with 4.0 automation and a dry additive feeder, will be able to treat anything their clients need.

Our Seed Treatment Specialist, Justen Kempfer, not only worked with our client to find the right setup, but also provided extensive training and support after the new equipment was installed to guarantee our clients were comfortable and proficient with the new system, which in turn will allow them to best help their clients.

Thanks to our many wonderful partners like USC and Meridian Manufacturing, we are able to provide top-notch seed system equipment for all your seed treatment needs. Additionally, if you are in the market for grain storage, grain drying, grain handling equipment or agricultural structures, 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.

Pest management Gateway FS Construction Services

The Importance of Early Pest Management

At FS Construction Services, we know there are a lot of things that can go wrong during the process of grain storage. And while this may sound like a pessimistic way to begin, most issues that arise during the process of grain storage are preventable and treatable. This is perhaps no truer than when it comes to pest management.

Beetles, lesser grain borer, weevils, and moths are some of the most common pests that growers face and, left unattended, they can transform huge batches of grain into unusable waste. Insects are most attracted to high temperatures and high levels of humidity, which means that one of the most effective ways to combat pests is to make sure you have a well-aerated storage bin.

But it doesn’t take much for insects to come in, grow, and spread. In the world of insect control there are two options: protectant and curative. Like most things, the quicker you act, the better. Fewer insects are easier to manage and the less time they have to establish themselves the better. One of the main means of protecting grain is done by applying an insecticide after the grain is dried, since the heat of a commercial dryer will significantly reduce the insecticide’s power, and immediately before it enters storage.

After the grain has been loaded into storage, a top dressing, or surface treatment, of the grain can further be applied which will act as an additional protective barrier and help reduce insects that would come in through cracks, gaps, and other means. Well-established insect colonies will require additional, more powerful means to kill off.

In a perfect world, no one would ever have to use pesticides. Insects would simply not be interested in eating grain. But since this is not the case, it’s far better to stop as much of the problem that can be stopped as soon as possible. Quick action when it comes to pests means a healthier, more abundant product that has experienced the least amount of interference possible.

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 grain drying systems

Why Grain Aeration Matters

If you’ve ever left a wet towel or wet piece of clothing in a heap for a few days where it wasn’t exposed to much sunlight or airflow, you’ve experienced the gross, musty, maybe even moldy, consequences of that mistake. Corn and soybeans, which are often harvested in high heat, high humidity conditions and stored en masse in dark grain bins, are ideal environments for mold and mildew to grow, making them a similar, though much more costly mistake.

Luckily, the remedy to the damp, still air of a grain bin is pretty simple. All you need is a little wind. Well, maybe it’s not quite that simple. Technically, what’s needed is “aeration.” Controlled, conditioned, forced air, provided by fans, moving through a mass of grain to make it suitable for storage.

Now, unless you’ve got some 747 jet engines, aeration isn’t going to turn a wet heap of grain into a dry pile ready for long-term storage. Grain will need to be dried with a grain dryer before storage. But what proper aeration can do is give you a few additional options with your grain. For instance, corn that has been aerated to a moisture content of 17% can be fed to livestock during the winter. 15% can be removed from storage before the start of summer, and 13% can be stored into summer and even beyond a year.

Proper aeration, by the way, means cooling fans should move 2 to 5 cubic feet of air per second per ton. So a fan blowing on 100 tons of grain should be pushing 300 cubic feet of air per second. The best way to achieve this is with automatic controllers, which will turn fans on and off at the most advantageous times (and can run as little as 100 hours a month). Additionally, this can prevent fans from blowing during high humidity times, which will effectively work to spread all that nice moisture around and upset the moisture content levels. Well-aerated grain maintains uniform temperature and moisture content, meaning your end product is more consistent and reliable.

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. Click here to see an overview of our Grain Systems capabilities.

Gateway FS Construction Services local county fairs

County Fair Season in Full Swing

At FS Construction Services we always love it when July comes around because it’s county fair month. Few things feel like summer more than the music, food, games, and entertainment of a county fair. Much of our work, whether it’s buildings, grain systems, seed system or more, takes place in the world of agriculture, and it’s always great to see that world opened up for and enjoyed by the many guests of these fairs. Lucky for us, where we’re located, we have the benefit of having two close by.

The first one is the Randolph County Fair, which takes place from July 12 to July 20 in Sparta. Traditionally, this fair features a variety of food, 4H shows, animal judging, and a tractor and truck pull.

The next week, the Monroe County Fair in begins in Waterloo. From July 21 to July 28 you’ll be able to enjoy all the carnival-type games, foods, and rides that you would expect as well as rooster crowing contests, demolition derby, figure 8, horse shows, and more. The 72nd year of this great event is sure to bring the same joy and fun it always has. Additionally, the Monroe County Fair features a few free admission nights, so anyone can come and have a great time.

To read more about this year’s Monroe County Fair you can visit monroecounty-fair.org and to read about last year’s Randolph County Fair you can visit here.

As always, you can reach out to us for any building, grain system, seed system, roofing, garage door, or other service needs. We are always happy to work with our clients on finding the best possible solutions, whether it’s a complex job or a simple task, and we’re happy to answer questions and troubleshoot problems when they arise.

We invite you to contact us today at Gateway FS Construction Services and experience the value, quality and service you deserve. You can give us a call at 866-551-3454, and let our specialists help. We look forward to providing you the best customer service experience.

 

Grain Handling tips FS Construction Services

Tips for Effective Grain Handling and Care

The team at FS Construction Services knows our customers understand the importance of proper grain collection and storage. Grain is sensitive, even delicate, and care must be taken to ensure its quality. It’s obvious that pests and diseases are harmful to grain, which is why it’s so important for equipment and storage systems to be cleaned and sealed. However, according to Illinois Ag News, even grain that’s been run through a “clean and properly adjusted combine can also be run through a grain cleaner to further remove fine materials on which insects can feed.” Research shows that a cleaner will improve the overall quality of your grain.

Generally, clean, dry grain requires less management overall. Harmful insects and mildew enjoy damp places, and when grain is stored without first being cleaned of all the extra fine material, it’s harder for air to move through the batch, allowing damp, moldy pockets to form. Additionally, it’s recommended to use a grain distributor, preventing fine material buildup. Without a distributor, the fine material can collect in the center of the grain mass, which, as you can imagine, creates poor aeration and moisture buildup.

The good news is that with a little extra work, you can avoid mold, rot, and pest damage to your grain.

  • Slow-drying grain reduces the amount of stress and damage on your kernels. Unbroken kernels clean better and sell better.
  • Similarly, operating grain handling equipment at lower speeds (and at capacity) will prevent unnecessary damage.
  • Handle grain as efficiently as possible. Each new step adds another opportunity for damage or contamination. Avoiding unnecessary grain handling will not only save time but might also save your batch.

It may seem easier to cut corners in the moment but treating grain with care can net long-lasting benefits and profits down the road.

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.

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.