While market conditions can change rapidly, growers experienced significantly lower grain prices than those just two years prior.
Low prices make it critical to keep costs and waste low. Lower prices mean farmers must calculate whether and how to store on- or off-farm, and the cost of drying and transporting to a commercial facility. Download our free report: Grain Handling & Storage Tips below.
How dry is dry enough?
Leaving corn in the field is one way to save on drying costs. Some studies have shown minimal losses when corn is left to stand in the field for a later harvest.
With a normal weather season, you can expect corn in early October to dry down about .5% to .75% per day. This rate will decrease in late October to less than .33% per day.
Conversely, corn moisture content in the field can remain unchanged for periods of two weeks or longer if weather is cold and wet. A plan for drying grain artificially is necessary during years with inadequate field drying conditions. Download our free report: Grain Handling & Storage Tips for help in identifying all of your corn drying options.
Whether you wait longer for corn to dry in the field or harvest at higher moisture contents, experts say you should dry it to 15% as it goes into final storage. However, if you intend to hold out for higher prices and therefore longer storage, you may need to lower the moisture even more.
Once it's out of the field, double check moisture readings and be sure to compensate the temperature of the grain if your moisture meter doesn't do it automatically. There is help in avoiding grain drying problems. Download our free report: Grain Handling & Storage Tips.
What you can find in our Grain Handling & Storage Tips paper:
Pick best way to dry corn
Corn growers face one of their biggest challenges in the fall - drying corn. Make a mistake with drying corn and you could lose a bin over the winter; mismanage the drying process and you could burn through expensive fuel and/or electricity. Avoid this situation by choosing the best corn drying option for your farm.
Select drying method on cost, end-use
Are you planning to store your grain for several weeks? Several months? When you harvest, the drying and storing methods you choose are closely related to your marketing plans.
How fast can you expect corn to dry down?
Limited field-drying data suggests daily rates average 1% in mid-September, .7% in late September and .5% in early October. The wide variations are due to weather conditions.
Prevent a disaster in the grain bin
If grain isn't properly stored, it can lead to two types of disasters. The worst is to possibly have someone become stuck in the grain and suffocate. The other is to be forced to haul out moldy grain and sell at a big loss. The two are related.
Online tools for grain storage options
Take advantage of the many tools offered online, provided by extension offices and university departments.
The Bottom Line: Brush up on your Grain Handling & Storage Tips
This free report offers you an in-depth look at a wide range of strategies to minimize costs, avoid accidents, and keep up-to-date with harvesting and grain management skills.
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