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Serving: MO

Storage Strategy

Pre-harvest tips on managing combines and grain bins for better yields and profits.

Management of grain storage requires careful planning, including proper sanitation, protection from insects and alternate strategies to move grain to spread risk, says a University of Missouri Extension grain specialist.

Sanitation includes cleaning bins and handling equipment, eradicating potential pests and removing all old-crop grain from the storage facility, Bill Casady says. “Sanitation also includes cleaning trucks and combines. It should be a part of routine maintenance such as inspecting fans, drying floors, preparing and lubricating augers and other components.”

Here are his best tips:

* Use self-cleaning components wherever possible to make the cleaning easier and complete. A little leftover grain can act as an inoculant that will contaminate any new grain introduced to the system.

* Spray walls and other parts of grain structures with residual insecticides to protect grain from later infestations.

* Set the combine to harvest good, clean high-quality grain and store only the highest quality clean grain.

Management of quality grain even in ordinary bins requires good planning. Be sure to have several strategies for moving commodity crops to spread the risk, Casady advises. There are several options for better marketing grain, and on-farm storage is just one of them. If yields are likely to overfill bins, plan to take a portion of the crop to commercial storage. Flat storage, as opposed to storage in bins, is for emergency temporary storage only.

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