A film for the heartland — and one from which to learn

By Per Peterson

Wet weather over the last couple of years has resulted in a lower quality of corn and soybeans in the region, and the higher moisture content in the grain has put more of a burden on farmers. As post-harvest work has increased, so, too, has the risk of grain bin incidents.

That’s why the Tracy Fire Department and Tracy Area FFA are teaming up to bring an important feature film to Tracy that they hope will serve as a reminder to farmers about the importance of grain bin safety.

“I think most farmers know what the right thing to do is — it’s just when they get in a hurry and get frustrated, they might forget about the safety part of it,” said Tracy Assistant Fire Chief Mike Erbes. “And for high school kids, this is a lesson about how powerful grain is. The poorer quality of grain will rot or decay quicker and won’t flow through the vents the way it should. This means farmers have to go into the bins more often. When the quality of grain is good, it keeps well and doesn’t rot as fast. This year, there was a really low test weight on corn, and on soybeans, guys were pushing the moisture content because it’s not dry in the fields, so you just compound the problem.”

The movie “Silo” is lauded as the first-ever feature film about a grain entrapment. Inspired by actual events, it tells the story of teenager Cody Rose, who becomes entrapped in a 50-foot-tall grain bin. When the corn turns to quicksand, family, neighbors and First Responders must put aside their differences to rescue the boy from drowning. The movie will be played at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, March 23, at Tracy Area High School.

See this week’s Headlight Herald for more on this article.