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October Grain Team Tip of the Month

Oct 01, 2020

Grain Contracts

Managing Grain in On Farm Storage

This crop year has been a challenge to say the least, and we don’t have to remind you of the challenges, even over the past two years.  Now that harvest time is here, I thought it would be good to cover a few important items on handling and storing grain on the farm.  Taking the right approach, which many of you do, can save a lot of headaches down the road.
  • Grain has a limited storage life, most of it’s “life” is used up during the fall and winter months, it may not make it through the following summer, think about that full grain bin, like a bin full of money!!
  • Before harvest, be sure to sweep the bin clean of dust and any old grain before refilling, it is also a good idea to spray with a grain bin spray or malathion product, the inside including the floor, walls as high as you can reach, both inside and out, around the bin foundation, around any aeration  fan openings, and out 4-6 feet from the bin, to eliminate grain insects and pests.
  • When filling the bin, depending on the size of the bin, it is good to use a grain spreader, to help distribute any fines or broken kernels, that will help with the air flow up through the grain.
  • It is best not to fill a bin to the peak, or until it reaches the roof. This will not allow air flow through the grain and will not allow moisture from the grain to escape the bin, which could cause hot spots or spoiled grain and lead to other problems when trying to empty the grain at market time.
  • It takes a long time to cool or warm grain, and grain cools in layers, usually from bottom to top in the direction of air flow.
  • In the late fall, it is recommended to run the fans for a week or until all the grains is between 30 and 40 degrees, then not again until spring unless trouble develops, or during periodic bin inspections.  It is best not to freeze it, as very cold grain will sweat and may become musty when unloaded in warm humid weather, if it has not been warmed first.
  • When March or April arrive, warm the grain to about 50 degrees and then monitor the temperature of the grain, to within 20 degrees of the outside temperature.
  • The surface of the grain should be checked every week or so checking for hard spots, which could indicate moisture or other issues.
  • SAFETY!!!  -  Never enter a bin when it is being unloaded and a mask should be worn when working around moldy or spoiled grain.  Breathing dust or mold could cause an allergic reaction.
These are general guidelines to help you manage your bin full of “money.”  We are anxious to help you keeping your grain in good condition and getting you the best value when you are ready to market it.


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