September 5, 2018
Once the corn is in the bin from the 2018 harvest there is still more work to be done to maintain quality and profitability.
Gary Woodruff, conditioning applications manager for GSI, offers these six tips for properly drying and storing grain this harvest season:
1. Watch moisture content. To safely store corn post-harvest through the following spring, moisture content should not exceed 15%; to store through fall, it should be no higher than 14%; and for one year or longer, the it must be held at 13%.
2. Aerate grain. As grain enters the bin, run aeration fans to equalize kernel grain moisture, which typically takes five to 10 days. This puts the grain in the best shape to store safely.
3. Minimize fines. Fines can’t be thrown as far as kernels. Repetitive coring that forms an inverted 10-foot cone for every 10 feet of depth as the bin is filled is a tremendous tool in minimizing fines in the center. It makes a major difference in increasing the value as bins get larger.
4. Create air movement. Soon after harvest, pull the bins with peaked grain down so the center is just below the corn at the wall. The grain will look somewhat like an M from the side, promoting air movement in the center. Leveling at this point is also a good practice.
5. Keep an eye on temperature. Watch the ambient temperature and use aeration fans to get the grain temperature below 50 degrees F as soon as possible. Nearly all insect and mold activity ceases below this temperature.
6. Check the grain weekly. Climb to the top of the bin, without entering, and observe whether there is a crust or any noticeable smell. An increase in surface moisture usually is the first sign of problems.
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