Home / Crops / Corn / Corn Production / Got wet grain in storage? Keep it in good shape

Got wet grain in storage? Keep it in good shape

Agriculture.com Staff 11/23/2009 @ 8:45am

There's still a lot of corn out in the field around the Midwest. But, there's also a lot of corn in the bin, a considerable amount of which was put in the bin on the wet side. Now that it's been a few days, it's a good time to assess how that stored grain is holding up and get it ready for the coming winter in the bin.

Drydown's been slow this fall: As late as 2 weeks ago, moisture levels of 30% weren't too uncommon in parts of the western and central Corn Belt. Now, Iowa State University Extension ag and biosystem engineer Charlie Hurburgh says those levels are back to a much more manageable range for harvesting and storing.

"Iowa was very fortunate to receive 2 weeks of warmer than normal weather, and more importantly lower than expected humidity in the air. This has allowed soybean harvest to be nearly completed, and rapid progress to be made on corn harvest, with moistures now in the low 20s and upper teens," Hurburgh says. "The eastern and far northern Corn Belt still have much wetter corn in the field. New problems have arisen, and efforts now turn to conditioning grain for storage."

To stem these storage problems, namely the growth of fungi and molds that can introduce toxins to the grain and render it unacceptable to many processors and grain terminals, Hurburgh suggests keeping these things in mind:

  • If the corn is below 20% [moisture], natural air/low temperature drying can handle it. Low volume aeration only will cool the grain but plan to move it during the winter or dry later. Corn wetter than 20% at this time will have to be dried further; it should not be in piles or other places that are hard to aerate and complicated to pick up.
  • Maintain continuous airflow, and steadily move this corn to heated air drying regardless of the logistics required to do so.
  • Check very often so that grain which is noticeably heating and crusting can be moved/turned.
  • Expect to lose some of this corn to mold through both physical shrink and damaged kernels if you cannot dry it quickly. Wet corn in piles and bunkers is especially high risk.
  • The 2009 crop corn is low in test weight, which means that its storage properties are poor. Choose which corn to move first according to test weight, lowest first.

There's still a lot of corn out in the field around the Midwest. But, there's also a lot of corn in the bin, a considerable amount of which was put in the bin on the wet side. Now that it's been a few days, it's a good time to assess how that stored grain is holding up and get it ready for the coming winter in the bin.

CancelPost Comment
MORE FROM AGRICULTURE.COM STAFF more +

Farm and ranch risk management resources By: 07/07/2010 @ 9:10am Government resources USDA Risk Management Agency Download free insurance program and…

Major types of crop insurance policies By: 07/07/2010 @ 9:10am Crop insurance for major field crops comes in two types: yield-based coverage that pays an…

Marketing 101 - Are options the right tool… By: 07/07/2010 @ 9:10am "If you are looking for a low risk way to protect yourself against prices moving either higher or…

MEDIA CENTERmore +
This container should display a .swf file. If not, you may need to upgrade your Flash player.
Looking Out for Soybean Cyst Nematodes