By Lauren Rowe
With the wet harvest season over, storing grain has become more of a concern this year more compared to the past. Richard Stroshine, a professor in Agriculture and Biological Engineering at Purdue University, helps farmers understand some of the issues they may run into when storing corn after this fall's wet harvest.
The wet harvest caused farmers to pay more to make sure that their corn was dry before storing it. Many learned it was very important that corn not be put into the storage bin too wet. By doing so, the fungi can spread rapidly through the storage bin.
The higher the moisture rate, the more quickly the fungi will spread to other kernels. By storing corn properly you're increasing shelf life of that corn. However, if it's not stored at a proper moisture rate it can cut the shelf life of the corn in half.
You aren't able to see the fungi growing. A fungus can be of harm if animals or people were to eat the infected corn.
This year, farmers had to pay a little extra to ensure that their corn got to the proper temperature. Weather can also play a role in drying corn. When drying your corn you can get it too dry, which will reduce the total amount of money you will receive.
If dried too much, the corn is more likely to break up into smaller pieces, therefore creating more fine materials and increasing handling costs.
The best moisture to store corn at is 14% if the corn is going to be stored for six months or more. If this drying process is done correctly and the corn is dried to the accurate moisture rate, your corn will have a longer shelf life which in turn will put more money in the farmer's pocket.
Rowe is a senior in Purdue University's Ag Communication program