Monitor grain in on-farm storage

After a successful harvest, the next step with on-farm grain storage is to keep the grain in good condition until it is shipped.

Grain that is clean, dry and has minimal foreign material will store well. Grain should be stored in an aerated, weatherproof structure. Taking the center core of fines from the bin will improve air movement through the bin and improve shelf life.

The maximum moisture of corn in aerated storage is 15 percent if it will be stored up to six months and 13 percent if it will be held in storage for longer than six month. Soybean moisture should be 13 percent for storage up to six months and 11 percent if stored longer than six months.

Michigan State University Extension recommends bringing the grain temperature to below 50 degrees Fahrenheit as soon as possible after moving it into storage. This can be accomplished by aerating the grain as the outside temperature drops during fall. Insect activity is minimized at this temperature. With cold Michigan winters, grain can be cooled to 25 F for winter storage. As the weather gets warm in spring, the grain can be warmed by running the fans. This will decrease the risk of spoilage on the sides of bins from condensation.

Grain should be monitored regularly while in storage. Charles Hurburgh, Iowa State University Agriculture and Biosystems Engineering professor, suggests grain be inspected and temperature monitored weekly until December, and every two weeks thereafter.

Once harvest is complete and the grain is stored in the bin, attention to details will ensure the grain comes out of storage in good condition.


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