How to Store Freshly
As the season’s change and the weather cools, the time for harvest is upon us. That means farmers all over the midwest and even the world have their work cut out for them. In addition to harvesting, steps need to be taken to properly dry and store grain. In this month’s blog, we’ll go over how to store freshly harvested grain.
Drying Harvested Grain
It may not seem like it right now, but soon enough temperatures will drop significantly. Once this happens, it’s no longer a good idea to air dry harvested grain in bins. In addition, when it gets below 40 degrees outside the drying fans are no longer necessary. Cooler temperatures mean you need to cool the grain for storage. Also, there is no need to use drying fans if the weather is less than ideal. For instance, if it is raining, snowing, or even foggy outside.
If the temperature outside starts to get colder than stored grain, you need to cool said grain to prevent insect infestation and mold growth. Usually, once it gets around 10 to 15 degrees colder outside is a good time to start. Once the temperature of grain gets below 60 degrees, insect reproduction slows significantly. In fact, once the temperature of stored grain reaches below 30 degrees insects die off. Not only does cooling grain with aeration get rid of insects, but reduces the chances of mold growth.
Storing Harvested Grain in Bags
A lot of people use bags to store their harvested grain, which is an alright option but should be done properly. Otherwise, you may be faced with an insect infestation or mold growth. Keep in mind that any and all harvested grain that is put in bags for storage should be cool and dry. Grain that is stored in a bag cannot be cooled with aeration, keep this in mind. The area where bags are kept should be elevated. Pay special attention to where the sun hits. If the sunshine only hits one side of the bag, harvested grain on the cooler side can potentially lead to the accumulation of moisture. Also, check the bags often to ensure they are not getting torn by animals. Wildlife in the area might rip holes into the storage bags which can attract even more animals.
Harvested Grain in Piles
Some people even store their harvested grain in piles outside. This can be ok for short-term storage but is not recommended long-term. This is because rainfall and precipitation can be a huge problem for uncovered grain. Even snow could melt on the grain piles and lead to a high moisture content. If you choose to store grain in outdoor piles always make sure you have some sort of cover over the piles. A good cover will prevent excess water from getting into the grain and creating spoilage.