Corn In Bin Needs Tender Loving Care

Corn In Bin Needs Tender Loving Care

Aerate properly and check often.

One farmer we visited recently was still harvesting June-planted corn. He took moisture on every load. The same time he pulled moisture on the incoming load, he pulled a sample coming out of the continuous flow dryer and checked moisture on it. That grain was dumping hot, carried through an air system, and delivered into a bin with a large aeration fan.

He was using dryeration, dumping hot to increase throughput, and letting the grain stay in the aeration bin until moisture dropped to about 15%. Then he could move it to a storage bin which didn't have a large fan. Most storage bins have fans form one-tenth to one-fourth as large as aeration bins.

The key to the process is to continue to monitor moisture content of grain in the aeration bin, and to make sure the grain mass is dried to 15% before moving it to a storage bin. Richard Stroshine, Purdue University grain quality specialist, says that means checking grain often. Even once you have it to 15%, he suggests checking it at least every other week as long as it is in the bin, and more often that that if you see or suspect any problems.

He also suggests coring the bin to remove fines that center in the middle. They tend to block air flow. Coring, or pulling out at least one load form the center, will allow grain that peaked at the top of the bin during filling to fill in the cone vacated by the grain pulled out. That levels off the top of the grain mass and makes it easier to aerate the grain more consistently.

Another pitfall to watch for is to remember that if you're checking moisture on grain while hot, account of the fact that it may still be up to a point wetter than what it reads on the moisture meter. That's because of the hot surface on the outside of the kernel. For a true test, check the grain again after it has cooled.

If your grain wasn't of top quality going into the bin, and had disease or damage concerns, check it more often, Stroshine says. The biggest key is to remember that once the grain is in the storage bin, your job is still not over. It doesn't end until you deliver the grain to its final destination.
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