I read with interest your article on stored grain. I have a question. We have always followed the practice of pulling “partial amounts from multiple bins,” for the most part successfully. We have encountered problems, when running fans, with the air flowing primarily through the middle of the bin, where the grain is shallower, and less or not at all nearer to the grain bin walls, where the grain is deeper. This is more of a problem in our 42- and 48-foot-diameter bins. Do you have thoughts about or solution to this problem?
Editor’s note: Mr. Holt is referring to a recommendation in an article on maintaining quality of stored grain through the summer. The source of information in the story was Gary Woodruff, GSI district manager in Indiana and Kentucky. Here is the original tip: “When marketing grain, don’t completely empty one bin at a time. Instead, take partial amounts from multiple bins.”
Here is Woodruff’s answer to Holt’s question:
Mr. Holt is right. At some point as you unload the bin, usually about half-full, the lack of depth in the middle will allow more air to pass there than one would prefer. The main chance of fines in the middle causing the middle to go out of condition occurs when the bin is freshly filled and/or more than half-full. When the bins are half-full or below, it is better to finish unloading each bin. By then, enough fines are out of the middle to allow the bin to keep the grain in condition with normal aeration. That was a great question from Mr. Holt. — Gary Woodruff