Kairi Maize Silos

Kairi, Tablelands Area

This cluster of concrete silos is the last reminder of the once vast maize industry initiated by the Chinese on the Atherton Tableland in the late nineteenth-century.

Maize was used for stock feed for the mining communities here and west to Irvinebank and in 1903 the area produced a third of Queensland's maize. The Kairi State Farm was established in 1912 to experiment in growing different strains of maize. Chinese farmers were displaced following the establishment of the post World War Two soldier settlement. However, the soldier settlement scheme was not entirely successful and the wet and humid climate led to fungal and bacterial conditions when farmers stored grain in their barns.

The Atherton Tableland Maize Board was formed in the early-1920s, and silos were built to improve storage and marketability. The silos were built by British engineer C. P. Kinninmonth using a revolutionary method known as slip-form concreting. Silos were also built at Tolga and Atherton. They were equipped with elevators, cleaning plant and driers manufactured by Sydney firm, Henry Simon Ltd. The silos were opened in November 1924. By 1936 a new management company, Athamaize, formed and the silos remained in use until the company's closure in 2002.

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