How Much Does a Grain Bin Cost?


Written by:  Howmuchisit.org Staff
Last Updated:  August 9, 2018

A grain bin is a large structure used on the farm to store and move grain, and many people confuse a grain bin with a silo.  A silo is a large structure, usually much taller and skinnier than a grain bin.  The silo, unlike the grain bin, is simply used for storing materials.  Grain can be one of these materials, but a silo can also be used to store coal, cement, wood chips, and sawdust among others.  A grain bin, on the other hand, is used to store and move grain using an elevator system.  This system is comprised of a large bucket that can mechanically scoop up the grain.  The elevator system can also be used to weigh the grain.

Grain Bins by UnitedSoybeanBoard, on Flickr
Grain Bins” (CC BY 2.0) by  UnitedSoybeanBoard

 How much does a grain bin cost?

The cost of a grain bin basically depends on the geographical location, number of rings, capacity, diameter, condition and where it’s being purchased. Depending on the factors mentioned above, the costs of a grain bin can greatly vary anywhere from as little as $5,000 to as much as $65,000 or more.

A grain bin will be sized according to how many bushels can be held and stored.  If priced this way, the costs for a grain bin can range from as little as $1 to as high as $2.60 per bushel for the materials only.  By the time you add in the site preparation, electrical and flooring upgrades, the costs could be closer to $3 to $5 per bushel.  Even though many jobs are straightforward, if you want to hire a contractor, consider getting multiple quotes for free from HomeAdvisor.com.  Here, you can explain your job and licensed contractors will contact you with free estimates.

The Southeast FarmPress, for instance, stated the current cost for a 10,000-bushel capacity is about $3.25 per bushel installed.

We were able to price multiple setups and included our estimates in our table below:

Diameter (feet)Height (feet)Capacity (bushels)Cost
1581,125$3,500
18112,250$5,000
21133,625$5,800
24196,9008,800
272411,025$14,000
302413,625$16,500
332416,475$18,000
364032,700$30,000
422730,050$3,650
483246,500$50,000

NOTE:  This won’t include the professional setup, only the materials without a floor.

For example, according to this TheCombineForum.com forum thread, forum members said the average grain bin can cost around $1.68 to $2.05 per bushel.

What is going to be included?

The estimates mentioned above will often be for a utility-type storage bin commonly found on a farm.  This will include the tank, door, manhole, flooring option, auger tube, columns and supports.

Grain bins are rated by the bushel (bu.), and one cubic foot can hold 0.7786 bushels of any grain.  For example, a 27-foot grain bin could hold up to 16,000 bushels while a 48-foot bin could hold close to 60,000.

With a grain bin, common diameters include 27, 30, 36, 42, 48, 54 and 60 feet.  The bin will also have a set number of rings that can handle the capacity.

Grain bins are usually round or square and commonly hold seed kernels such as corn.

Adding a spreader can be another $500 while adding a stirrator can add another $100 to $200 per foot per diameter.

What are the extra costs?

The estimates mentioned are often for a grain bin without a floor.  If you were to add a concrete, steel or ventilated floor, then this could add another $400 to $10,000 to the total cost, depending on the size of the grain bin and the type of flooring you choose.

As mentioned, you still need to factor in the electrical, site preparation, flooring upgrades and install.  This can add another $1 to $2 to the”bushel” average.

Adding a safety cage can cost another $13 to $19 per linear foot.

Ladders can cost $6 to $10 per linear foot.

Tips to know

Shop around for prices before committing to a purchase.  Before calling, however, make sure you already have an idea on the required diameter, the number of rings, size, and capacity so that suppliers can give you a ballpark.

How can I save money?

Consider purchasing a second-hand grain bin on eBay.  At the time of this writing, for example, a 30-foot seven ring 10,000 Bu. grain bin had a $12,900 buy it now offer, while another listing, a 21-foot grain bin with dryer, corner unload, fan and floor, had a $4,500 buy it now option.


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