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Zach Parish
Zach Parish is a grain merchandiser at KAMO Grain, Inc., located at 3708 North Free King Hwy in Pittsburg, KS. Zach graduated from the University of Arkansas with a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Business, specializing in grain marketing and merchandising. KAMO Grain started as a small, family owned, country elevator in 1990, and has now grown to serve producers and elevators all over the four state area with their grain marketing needs. For more information or to reach Zach call 620-232-5800.
2012-11-07 11:37:53
Safety and maintenance during the winter months
A- Safety has become a very important issue in the grain business, especially in the last few years. One should take extra precautions during the winter months. It is essential to exercise extreme caution when working around possibly icy areas. It is important to examine the area you will be working in and make sure there is no possibility of injury due to ice. Falling ice is a good example of a hazard around grain bins. I urge anyone who must work around bins with icy roofs to do what they can to make sure falling ice can not hit them. This is extremely dangerous and can cause serious injury or death. I would also suggest using ice melt to keep walkways clear of ice and also wearing shoes that have good traction to help prevent falls. As far as maintenance, check all vehicles prior to winter to make sure antifreeze levels are acceptable, and that equipment is protected to at least -20°F. Plug in diesel equipment at the end of each day to prevent the engine from freezing up. Block heaters and fuel additive to prevent diesel fuel from “gelling” is essential in keeping diesel powered equipment working correctly during the winter months. I would suggest implementing a regular maintenance schedule to ensure that all your equipment is properly maintained and ready for the cold weather as we are approaching the winter season. On the other hand, colder weather can also work to your advantage if you have grain in your own storage. Winter is an excellent time to run your bin fans to cool grain down, which will help prevent hot spots and keep grain “in condition.” This works the best when you “pull the center out” of each bin as Brice described in a previous issue of the Q & A. Another significant advantage of keeping your grain cold is bug control. Bugs can not survive in extremely cold grain. The cold climate will help minimize the further infestation of bugs and possibly kill some bugs that are already in the bin. By using the cold weather to your advantage, you will save money by possibly eliminating fumigation costs and also preserving the condition of your grain. At the end of the day, the grain in your bin is essentially money, and it is crucial that you take the necessary actions to take care of your money.
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