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Pay Attention To Grain In Bins

Pay Attention To Grain In Bins
If you have corn in bins, cool it out properly.

There are farmers hauling corn to town when they normally store it, with the thought, "What will the market find by January when it wants corn?" Some are wondering if those inside the grain trade have factored in that many on-farm bins (that are usually full) are actually empty, and will stay that way.

High-tech bin management: Eli Troyer produces and sells bin controllers. Now his company also offers programs that alert you to problems inside the bin.

In the meantime if you have grain in the bin, primarily corn, take advantage of cool weather to begin dropping the temperature of the grain, notes Richard Stroshine, Purdue University grain quality specialist. He suggests that if you're using a typical drying bin with a half-horse motor on the fan, it can take up to 150 hours to move a cooling front through 20 feet of grain in a 40-foot diameter bin.

You want to make sure that each cooling front goes completely through the bin, he notes. He suspects it will take three cycles to get grain cooled to just above freezing for winter storage. In some states to the west where the temperatures are colder, they prefer to freeze the grain, but Stroshine doesn't advise it here in this part of the Corn Belt. Instead, he recommends stopping cooling before the grain actually freezes.

Many new bin controllers and monitoring systems are on the market to help you know exactly what's happening in the bin. Several of those were on display at the Farm Progress Show. The latest wrinkles are systems that can alert you by smart phone of computer if there is a problem in a particular bin.

Eli Troyer of AgriDry in Edon, Ohio, says the program they developed to work with their controllers can deliver information to the producer without him ever getting near the bins. This type of equipment can prove invaluable as you begin to cool grain and want to hold it at the correct temperature, without avoiding hot spots within the bin.

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