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Holding Time on Wet Grain

You can hold wet corn in storage, but only for so long. And Charles Hurburgh defines “so long” as a very short time if that grain is not being aerated. Holding wet grain, especially without aeration, shortens its storage life considerably, he warns.

The Iowa State University engineer warns that fungi grow very fast in corn above 20% moisture. Even holding wet corn overnight in a trailer or truck can have a marked effect on future storability of that grain.

Likewise the practice of holding medium moisture corn - 16% to 20% - for future blending or feeding opportunities will cause problems for corn stored, even after drying, into the following summer.

Hurburgh urges farmers to check wet corn weekly, monitoring it for spikes in the temperature. Wet corn should have 0.2 cfm per bushel of well-distributed aeration. This is double the normal rates for dry corn. He warns that problems will start to show up in February and March as temperatures in the grain rise.

Wet corn should also not be held in bunkers, piles, flat storages, sheds, or other structures where airflow is not well distributed, Hurburgh warns.

If you'd like to store grain for a longer period of time, ensure that it is dried to the appropriate moisture level. “You cannot beat the physical laws of storing corn, which say 15%
moisture if you store until June 1, 14% through next harvest, and 13% to
store for a year or longer,” says Gary Woodruff, GSI.

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