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Be Careful Of Molds When Cleaning Out Grain BinsBe Careful Of Molds When Cleaning Out Grain Bins

Wear a recommended mask or filter if possible.

Tom Bechman 1

July 25, 2012

2 Min Read

There is still a fair amount of corn in storage from the smiles on a few people's faces as corn prices rise. Their gold is in their bins yet from last year, certainly not in this year's fields.

As Richard Stroshine of Purdue University Extension Ag Engineering reported as early as March, some people have had trouble keeping that corn as gold and not letting it turn into spoiled rubbish. Some of it didn't cool out properly last fall, and for some, there never was a good time in the fall and winter to bring grain temperatures down.


If you're hauling out a bin or cleaning out the last of the corn in a bin and there is some spoilage involved, remember that the grain dust, especially if molds are present, can cause issues and sickness. One farmer who hauled several loads out of a bin with some moldy corn on a hot day was out of commission for three days, weak and aching. He believes it was heat stress. Whether it was heat stress or exposure to the molds might be for a doctor to say. The bottom line is that there is a health risk threat to watch for, unless you pick a cool day, if such a thing exists this summer, and have truly golden corn without mold.

The other obvious safety tip is to stay out of the bin unless the auger motor is tripped out. You certainly don't want to consider entering the bin with the auger running, even if you have tied yourself off and have someone outside. Spoiled grain can sometimes lead to clogged augers. But emptying a bin isn't worth risking your life. There are too many horror stories pout there of people who made that mistake- who tried to be safe but underestimated the power of flowing grain once the clog is freed.

Be careful out there as you clean out last year's crop.

About the Author(s)

Tom Bechman 1

Editor, Indiana Prairie Farm

Tom Bechman is an important cog in the Farm Progress machinery. In addition to serving as editor of Indiana Prairie Farmer, Tom is nationally known for his coverage of Midwest agronomy, conservation, no-till farming, farm management, farm safety, high-tech farming and personal property tax relief. His byline appears monthly in many of the 18 state and regional farm magazines published by Farm Progress.

"I consider it my responsibility and opportunity as a farm magazine editor to supply useful information that will help today's farm families survive and thrive," the veteran editor says.

Tom graduated from Whiteland (Ind.) High School, earned his B.S. in animal science and agricultural education from Purdue University in 1975 and an M.S. in dairy nutrition two years later. He first joined the magazine as a field editor in 1981 after four years as a vocational agriculture teacher.

Tom enjoys interacting with farm families, university specialists and industry leaders, gathering and sifting through loads of information available in agriculture today. "Whenever I find a new idea or a new thought that could either improve someone's life or their income, I consider it a personal challenge to discover how to present it in the most useful form, " he says.

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