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 . Written with support by Jes Rollins, DuPont Pioneer technical services assistant. Follow local DuPont Pioneer agronomists on Twitter @pioneersdakota and @pioneerndakota.
This article published in the November, 2014 edition of DAKOTA FARMER.
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