Grain storage to-do checklist

Your work isn’t finished when the grain is in the bin. Here’s a grain storage chore checklist:

Grain storage to-do checklist

Your work isn’t finished when the grain is in the bin. Here’s a grain storage chore checklist:

Routinely check grain condition and temperature at least every two weeks, especially when harvest conditions varied widely. Once it stays cooler than 30 degrees F, your inspections can be less frequent and occur every three weeks.

Move grain that did not reach physiological maturity before the killing frost within six months of harvest.

Maintain bins to keep them weather-tight and rodent-resistant.

Examine the grain surface for crusting, wet areas, molds and rodent or insect activity.

In the fall and spring, keep grain-mass temperatures within 10 to 15 degrees F of the average outside temperature in order to control moisture migration.

Probe the grain for temperature and moisture readings for hot spots deeper than the surface. If not properly managed, the moisture in grain bins can migrate from warmer areas to cooler areas, causing condensation on the grain’s surface. Also, insect activity and mold growth can result in a variance of moisture or temperature.

Push a temperature front through the grain by running the aeration fans if condensation has accumulated on the inside of the bin roof, or if the air coming out of the bin access hatch smells musty, or is warmer than expected.

Cover the aeration fans in the winter when they are not running. This prevents the grain near the ducts from freezing.

Run aeration fans at least once a month when the air temperature is 30 to 35 degrees F.

Run aeration fans if grain in different sections of the bin varies in temperature by 5 to 8 degrees F. If aeration is needed in winter months, do so when the air temperature is the same as, or cooler than, grain temperatures. This prevents condensation from freezing on cold grain.

Kayser is a field agronomist for DuPont Pioneer. He covers southeast South Dakota. Contact him at k[email protected]. Written with support by Jes Rollins, DuPont Pioneer technical services assistant. Follow local DuPont Pioneer agronomists on Twitter @pioneersdakota and @pioneerndakota.

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What’s going on in bins?

In winter months, the grain toward the outside of the bin stays cooler than the grain in the center. The warm air rises in the center and meets the colder air at the top of the bin. Moisture can accumulate at the top center of the bin and cause condensation to form on the grain. Air movement with fans through the stored grain will help maintain uniform bin temperatures, and prevent condensation and mold growth. For better winter storage, core bins a month after initial storing to remove fines from center. Even if aeration fans are automatic, continue to monitor the electronic system and the quality of stored grain. ­— Kyle Kayser

This article published in the November, 2014 edition of DAKOTA FARMER.

All rights reserved. Copyright Farm Progress Cos. 2014.

Crop Storage

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