It's official. There's already at least one farmer in Indiana worried about grain he binned this year, even though the quality was light-years ahead of last year. He notified us to remind other people that even though they may have binned corn at 14% or less, it's still important to follow aerating procedures, and to check grain regularly, just like you would in any other season.
This farmer says that he binned the corn now in question a few weeks ago. The moisture tested under 14% when he harvested and binned the corn. The problem was the temperatures were in the 90's when he harvested the corn. Even though he has attempted to cool the grain using aeration when he had opportunities, he found an unpleasant surprise when he checked one of the bins recently.
What he found was that the bin, or more correctly the corn inside the bin, is heating up. That means he will have to keep an eye on it from now on out. Corrective measures may be necessary to prevent spoilage problems inside the bin.
If you've still got corn to put in the bin, even though it's no longer in the 90's, it's still important to stay on top of grain moisture going in, and what happens inside the bin in the nearby weeks after you fill it.
Richard Stroshine, Purdue University grain quality specialist, maintains that if you've still got corn to bin, using a grain cleaner and keeping fines and beeswing and the like out of the bin is one of the most important things you can do. These lead to problems later on.
He's also an advocate of coring bins. That means pulling out several loads. The grain will come out from the center, forming a core-shaped zone that empties inside. His reasoning is that as the bin fills, the fines and denser material often winds up in the middle of the bin. Getting it out of there should make aeration more effective.
The message the farmer wanted to convey is simply that even though corn is going into bins very dry, you can't walk off and forget about it. As temperatures cool outside, changes happen inside the mound of corn inside the bin. Whether it's probes or temperature cables or hand-checking, you will need to stay on top of possible temperature changes within the corn mass. Heating is often an early indication of problems.