A corn conveyor is a device used in agricultural settings where corn is used to feed livestock. Typically used in conjunction with a feed bunker or through, the corn conveyor is commonly positioned outside of a silo or grain storage bin. Made of rubber with or without divider boards or paddles, the corn conveyor is usually designed to operate on a flat, horizontal plane, although there can occasionally be slight rises and falls over the length of the conveyor. The conveyor differs from a corn elevator in that an elevator is designed to send the corn vertically into a silo or grain bin.
The use of a corn conveyor is common on most farms and can serve multiple roles. The most common role of the corn conveyor is to feed livestock. Corn is delivered from a silo or grain bin and placed onto the conveyor, where it is sent to a feed bunk or trough. The conveyor is operated over the feed bunk and the corn is directed to different areas of the bunk by individually opening ports, moving paddles or mechanically-operated chutes. A smooth, rubber belt used on the conveyor helps prevent injury to animals if they should happen to lick or rub against the belt as it moves along.
Occasionally, a corn conveyor is designed to work as a system of several short conveyors instead of one single, long conveyor. In this application, the individual belts are operated independently of each other and feeding can be restricted from certain areas by turning off an individual conveyor. Other uses for the conveyor are to move feed and grain from a silo into a central mixing bin. It is common on dairy farms to use different ingredients from several silos to mix a single batch of feed. With this type of system, several conveyors might be used to transport feed from multiple storage units to a single mixing bin and then to the feed bunk.
It is mandatory that the corn conveyor be made of a solid material to prevent the loss of the small corn kernels through openings in the conveyor. Rubber is the most common material used in the manufacture of the conveyor belt due to its flexibility, strength and durability in harsh environments. Another feature of the rubber belt is its quiet operational properties. The relatively quiet operation of the rubber corn conveyor allows animals to be fed without alarming or scaring them.