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GRAIN WATCH: The sun sets behind bins filled with grain.

7 steps to protect stored grain in spring

As temperatures rise in spring, stored grain needs to be dried, aerated and watched.

As outdoor temperatures rise this spring, there are seven things you need to do to prevent stored grain from deteriorating, says Ken Hellevang, North Dakota State University Extension agricultural engineer.

1. Control your temps. Run aeration fans to keep the grain temperature near or below 30 degrees F until the grain is dried and below 40 degrees F as long as possible during spring and early summer if it is dry. Soybean oil quality may be affected in less than four months if even 12% moisture soybeans are stored at 70 degrees.

2. Cover while not in use. Cover the fan when it is not operating to prevent warm air from blowing into the bin and heating the stored grain.

3. Let it breathe. Ventilate the top of the bin to remove the solar heat that warms the grain. Provide air inlets near the eaves and exhausts near the peak or use a roof exhaust fan. The sun will heat the south side of a bin twice as much in spring than in the summer because the sun in lower on the horizon in the spring than summer.

4. Don’t get clogged. Leave the bin fill and access door open as a pressure relief valve when operating the fan at temperatures near or below freezing. Bin vents can become blocked with frost and ice when the fan is operated at temperatures near or below freezing, which may lead to damage to the roof.

5. Watch the temperature. Check grain temperature every two weeks.

6. Watch the moisture, too. Check the grain moisture every two weeks. Note: Testers may not be accurate when the grain temperature is lower than 40 degrees F. Warm the grain sample to room temperature in a sealed plastic bag before measuring the moisture content.

7. Check for pests. Examine stored grain ever two weeks for insect infestations.

Source: NDSU, which is solely responsible for the information provided and is wholly owned by the source. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.
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