You have two bins of corn. Both bins hold the same amount. You filled one with corn harvested at 20% moisture and dried to 15%. You filled the other bin a bit later with corn that was 15% straight out of the field. You didn’t run it through your grain dryer. Which bin should you sell first? Which bin of corn will likely come out in better shape?
If you think you should sell the dried corn first and the corn straight from the field that never saw a grain dryer will be of better quality when you haul it out, Gary Woodruff suggests you reconsider. He is a district manager for GSI in Indiana. These aren’t trick questions. They’re questions about biological processes and logic. Getting the right answers could put considerably more money into your farm bank account.
Some people think heat from dryers may damage grain, Woodruff says. Today’s modern dryers, if operated properly, will dry grain with very little damage, he notes. What’s more, the heat serves a valuable purpose. It kills tons of potential organisms that could be lurking in the grain coming from the field. Even at 15% in the bin, this could result in disease or insect issues later, depending upon how long you hold the corn.
“Due to warm, wet weather in some areas during the fall, some corn came out of the field carrying disease organisms,” he says. “If corn was still wet enough that you needed to dry it, the heat likely killed most of those organisms. But if it’s not exposed to heat, those organisms keep right on living in the bin. Dried grain gets a head start with fewer threats in the grain mass and will store longer with equal management.”
That’s why Woodruff recommends selling bins of corn that came out of the field at 15% and weren’t dried first. Over time, natural processes will begin that could result in potential grain quality issues.