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Gearing up your grain storage

10/01/2007 @ 12:00pm

With the largest corn crop in decades expected this year, as well as higher-than-expected soybean yields coming in from the field, the premium is high for grain storage, especially on the farm. Keeping grain quality high while in the bin will be a challenge, however, and with high energy costs this fall, it may be difficult to resist the urge to curb energy expenditures for grain drying.

University of Nebraska (UNL) Extension specialists share tips on how to get your grain storage geared up for this fall's mammoth crops, as well as what you can do to trim your energy costs associated with grain drying.

With the largest corn crop in decades expected this year, as well as higher-than-expected soybean yields coming in from the field, the premium is high for grain storage, especially on the farm. Keeping grain quality high while in the bin will be a challenge, however, and with high energy costs this fall, it may be difficult to resist the urge to curb energy expenditures for grain drying.

Whether storing wet grain for a short period of time or dry grain for a long period, it's important to control grain temperatures, a University of Nebraska agricultural engineering specialist says.

As many farmers start harvest, it's critical they check the condition of harvest equipment and grain bins before bringing in the crop. Shelton says keeping equipment and bins clean and in good working order is a critical first step in the harvest process.

With prices for most energy sources up significantly in recent years, grain producers are asking how to reduce the cost of drying grain on the farm. Like most management decisions, the grain drying method chosen usually is a trade-off between time and money, according to UNL Extension educator Tom Dorn.