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These are not your dad’s grain dryers

Slideshow: Compare the latest offerings from multiple companies.

12 Slides

You’ve decided you need a new grain dryer. Your old dryer has served you well, but time marches on. Your acres are up, and yields are higher. Finally, yes, the dryer is the bottleneck at harvest.

Several companies offer quality grain dryers in different styles and sizes. Then, there are all kinds of features and potential add-ons. How do you zero in on what’s best for you?

One way is to first take a comprehensive look at what’s available in the market. This rundown, while it doesn’t cover every company and option, is a good place to start. Company websites and YouTube videos can also provide information.

Here is a look at some dryers currently on the market:

AGI. Jeff Cruzen of AGI says the first thing most people notice about AGI’s Mixed-Flow Dryer is that there are no screens to clean. In terms of dryer efficiency, that means no lost capacity from clogged screens, he says.

The hallmark of the AGI Mixed-Flow Dryer, originally branded as a Neco grain dryer, is the ability to deliver higher-quality grain at 25% to 30% higher fuel efficiency than a conventional dryer.

The dryer is available in various sizes, depending upon the number of tiers. Single-burner dryers can run in all-heat or heat-and-cool mode. With multiple-burner dryers, you can also steep or sweat grain. These dryers feature quiet centrifugal fans with grain moisture controlled by computer software.

The AGI K Series Mixed-Flow dryer features a basic operating system and more compact design for smaller farm operations. The K Series is available with four, five, six or seven drying tiers. It features an easy-to-use touch-screen interface, high- and low-moisture limit settings and a single-sensor moisture manager. Visit aggrowth.com.

Brock. The Vector Energy Miser is a newer mixed-flow grain dryer from Brock. Available in 16- and 24-foot sizes, it can dry from 1,000 to 3,500 bushels per hour at 5 points removal. Spokespersons say it’s the only mixed-flow dryer in the industry that doesn’t use metering rolls as grain prepares to exit the dryer. It also doesn’t use augers to unload and is already being touted for its even grain flow through the dryer.

This dryer features full-flame wall burners to evenly heat air and screenless exhaust ducts, which reduce cleaning maintenance on the outside of the dryer. The factory-built modular design and plug-and-play wiring results in relatively quick and easy installation.

The Superb Energy Miser SQ continuous-flow dryer series has capacities varying between 250 and 1,900 bushels per hour. A narrower upper drying column helps saturated air escape faster, and the optional patented Moisture Equalizer System moves the hottest, driest grain through faster, improving grain quality and minimizing overdrying.

The Meyer Energy Miser Tower Dryer is designed for where space is limited. Capacities vary from 1,000 to 2,650 bushels per hour at 5 points removal.

Brock dryers use the Intui-Dry Dryer Controller and can be fitted with the company’s TrueGrain Moisture Sensor System. Visit brockgrain.com.

Delux. Delux grain dryers have been made by the Delux Manufacturing Co., Kearney, Neb., since the 1960s. A variety of models are available, including the DPSL Series, designed with farm grain installations in mind. Model sizes vary from drying 300 bushels per hour at 5 points removed to 3,300 bushels per hour.

These dryers are quiet, with a 12-inch grain column surrounding fans, accessible metering rolls and electronic temperature control. New options include a touch-screen controller and web user interface. Visit deluxmfg.com.

Grain Handler. The Grain Handler brand was founded by two brothers who purchased a mixed-flow dryer for their business in 1979 and decided they could improve upon the design. Today, you can buy Grain Handler mixed-flow dryers with either the fan-under or fan-on-the-side design. Many mixed-flow dryers feature fans on the end, with multiple fans for multiple-tiered dryers.

Among pluses for this dryer, spokespersons claim it’s the only model in the industry that can dry up to 5,000 bushels of corn per hour in a single-phase system. It operates on 40 to 45 cubic feet per minute per bushel, with all models designed for easy expansion to a larger size. The company is based in St. Charles, Minn. Visit grainhandler.com.

GSI. GSI’s lineup today starts with continuous-flow dryers, including the Quiet Dryer, which rates 50% quieter than a dryer with a conventional vane-axle fan. The Quiet Dryer line features the same mixed-flow fans found on the Zimmermann commercial tower dryer line.

Alan Lockwood, product manager for grain conditioning at GSI, says the company will debut a mixed-flow dryer this fall, with planned launch in 2025.

“Our continuous-flow dryers continue to deliver dependability and reliability, and we add new features as improvements come along,” Lockwood says. Quieter operation is one improvement, along with a newly released improved moisture sensor.

GSI also offers a full line of tower dryers and the TopDry system, which is technically an in-bin dryer. Lockwood notes that it delivers superior grain quality, partially because it also operates with lower cubic feet per minute per bushel, similar in concept to mixed-flow dryers.

GSI’s Vision Network Dryer Control system can automate and simplify dryer control. A new feature, GSI Connect, allows you to monitor the dryer remotely from anywhere. Visit grainsystems.com.

Mathews Co. The Mathews Co. offers five lines of grain dryers, including the Delta and Fusion series mixed-flow dryers, the Next Generation Legacy and Eco series conventional dryers, and modular tower dryers.

All MC grain dryers today feature the patented Pinnacle 20/20 dryer control system. Mixed-flow dryers use burners made from stainless steel and cast iron, controlled by the optional Fireye commercial-grade flame controller. AccuDry moisture-based controls from Dryer Master and the M-C Trax remote control system are options.

The Eco Series low-profile, continuous-flow dryer also features high-efficiency, stainless steel and cast aluminum burners, which produce low emissions. Long-lasting screens are available in stainless steel, aluminum or galvanized material. The full-length level auger works with a motorized grain level indicator to provide reliable grain flow into the dryer.

MC tower dryers use vacuum cooling, which reclaims heat from cooling grain, using less fuel. Ambient air mixes with preheated air for the drying process, increasing efficiency. Visit mathewscompany.com.

Shivvers. In-bin drying systems from Shivvers feature capacities ranging from 7,200 to 52,800 bushels per day. The two main options are the Circu-Lator and the Dri-Flo performance systems; both use tapered sweep augers to pull dry grain to the bin’s center in even layers.

The Dri-Flo Performance System is better suited for larger operations because it has higher moisture removal capacities and the ability to work with existing systems.

The Circu-Lator Performance System provides the option to recirculate grain through its center vertical auger, which allows the drying bin to serve as a storage bin if needed.

Both options use the Counter-Flow drying system, which forces heated air up and into a bed of grain. Both systems are built to fit bins that are 18 to 48 feet in diameter. See shivvers.com.

Sukup. Patented quad-flow metering rolls — two per side instead of one — are the hallmark of the Sukup cross-flow dryer system. The concept is that warmer, drier grain moves faster in the column, leaving cooler grain to receive more drying, vs. all kernels moving at the same speed, spokespersons explain. The net result, they say, is more even moisture content of dried grain, better overall quality and improved fuel efficiency. Cross-flow dryers are available in varying sizes, and with axial or centrifugal fans.

The Sukup mixed-flow dryer comes in varying sizes as well. The Sukup design features a pressure system in the heating chamber, but unique vacuum cooling in the lower sections of the dryer. There are no screens in the heating section, while the lower cooling section uses screens.

Sukup also offers a tower dryer.

Sukup dryers use the QuadraTouch Pro dryer control system. The MySukup web access feature allows you to stay in touch with the dryer from anywhere. Visit sukup.com.

Superior. The Superior Mixed-Flow Dryer is available in capacities from 690 to 9,510 bushels per hour, which means there are models suitable for both on-farm and commercial drying operations. Tiers can be added to an existing dryer, making their capacity expandable.

These mixed-flow dryers feature an adjustable burner transition, the largest corner venting in the industry, and a drag-chain conveyor with polyethylene paddles, which is gentler on warm grain than an auger.

A Schedule 80 internal vaporizer and Maxon burner promote fuel efficiency and safety. Because size is flexible, there is a mixed-flow dryer for installations with either single-phase or three-phase power.

The Dryer Master 510 controller is included with the dryer for more efficient, automated operation. Visit superiorbins.com.

About the Author(s)

Tom J. Bechman

Midwest Crops Editor, Farm Progress

Tom J. Bechman became the Midwest Crops editor at Farm Progress in 2024 after serving as editor of Indiana Prairie Farmer for 23 years. He joined Farm Progress in 1981 as a field editor, first writing stories to help farmers adjust to a difficult harvest after a tough weather year. His goal today is the same — writing stories that help farmers adjust to a changing environment in a profitable manner.

Bechman knows about Indiana agriculture because he grew up on a small dairy farm and worked with young farmers as a vocational agriculture teacher and FFA advisor before joining Farm Progress. He works closely with Purdue University specialists, Indiana Farm Bureau and commodity groups to cover cutting-edge issues affecting farmers. He specializes in writing crop stories with a focus on obtaining the highest and most economical yields possible.

Tom and his wife, Carla, have four children: Allison, Ashley, Daniel and Kayla, plus eight grandchildren. They raise produce for the food pantry and house 4-H animals for the grandkids on their small acreage near Franklin, Ind.

Allison Lund

Indiana Prairie Farmer Senior Editor, Farm Progress

Allison Lund worked as a staff writer for Indiana Prairie Farmer before becoming editor in 2024. She graduated from Purdue University with a major in agricultural communications and a minor in crop science. She served as president of Purdue’s Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow chapter. In 2022, she received the American FFA Degree. 

Lund grew up on a cash grain farm in south-central Wisconsin, where the primary crops were corn, soybeans, wheat and alfalfa. Her family also raised chewing tobacco and Hereford cattle. She spent most of her time helping with the tobacco crop in the summer and raising Boer goats for FFA projects. She lives near Winamac, Ind.

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