Pallet-mounted plastic grain bin for drying and long-term weatherproof storage

Project Overview

Project Type: Farmer
Funds awarded in 2016: $7,732.00
Projected End Date: 02/28/2018
Grant Recipient: Rusted Rooster Farm
Region: Northeast
State: Maine
Project Leader:
Sean O'Donnell
Rusted Rooster Farm

Information Products


  • Agronomic: barley, buckwheat, corn, oats, peas (field, cowpeas), rye, spelt, soybeans, sunflower, wheat


  • Crop Production: cover crops, seed saving, winter storage
  • Education and Training: demonstration, farmer to farmer, networking
  • Pest Management: physical control
  • Production Systems: dryland farming, general crop production

    Proposal summary:

     This is a proposal for a superior alternative to tote bags. It will  be made out of a 4’ plastic culvert with a slanted perforated floor for aeration, it will be mounted on a plastic pallet for easy mobility it will have a vertical slide type door operated by a hand lever for variable grain outlet flow perfect for properly feeding a grain cleaner or bagging, it will have a pipe port into the air chamber below the perforated floor that can be used for aeration or capped for bad weather /permanent storage, the bin will capped top and bottom with pre made pipe caps available from the local pipe dealer. Bins will be weather tight and rodent proof for outside all-weather storage. Plastic construction will eliminate the rot and rust problem of wood and metal bins and address the  condensation problem of metal. Bins will allow for storage and dry down of grains beans and corn in 1000-2000lb quantities allowing farmers to meet the need small volume secure seed and crop storage. Constructed from mostly pre made material will maximize assembly time keep costs down.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    The proposed solution is to to manufacture a reusable pallet mounted grain bin constructed from plastic culvert and pre made components for ease of assembly. Versatile Permanent storage provide opportunities to store small hi-value commodities with built-in dry down capabilities to protect and preserve quality in crops harvested at higher moisture making early harvest for quality reasons more profitable.  The farmers involved in this project including project leader Sean O'Donnell of Rusted Rooster Farm in Parkman,  Maine.  Collaborating farmers include Sam Mudge of Grange Corner Farm in Lincolnville Maine, Dorn Cox of Tuckaway farm in Lee, New Hampshire and John Hutton of Coppal House Farm in Lee, New Hampshire. We plan to meet at MOFGA in Unity, Maine to network with other interested farmers and discuss the building plan, construction and operation of the pallet mounted plastic grain bin. After all plans are final I (Sean O'Donnell) will proceed with purchasing materials for bin construction including end caps, pallets, grain doors, perforated flooring and a 20 ’ plastic culvert to be sectioned into pieces, one for each participating farm.  After all components have been purchased all farms will gather at Rusted Rooster Farm in Parkman Maine for construction of the bins.

     After bins are constructed each farm will be provided with a grain sampling probe to properly sample grain for moisture content and grain quality. Participating farms already have moisture testers available for use in monitoring. Effectiveness will be measured in terms of cost of and ease of construction, grain loss due to spoilage, rodents,  ease of grain drying, stacking and handling.   Early April 2016. Project will start at farmer meeting it Unity.

    April-May 2016 Project leader will purchase all materials and supplies for construction and monitoring.

    June (after planting)  2016 meeting at Rusted Rooster Farm in Parkman for assembly. 

    July  2016 Bin will be presented at the annual grain walk at Rusted Rooster Farm hosted by Sean O'Donnell.

    July  2016 November bins will be used at participating farms for various  harvested crops, results will be individually monitored storage quality and ease of use for results at final report. Presentation and explanation for other interested farmers at Rusted Rooster Farm in Parkman at twilight meeting

    At final report bin plans and gathered data will be posted on Farm by Dorn Cox. 

    Bin plan and results as well as experience using will be presented by Sean O'Donnell at the annual Maine Grain Conference in Bangor Maine in march of 2017. 


    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.