Larry’s Letters: October 2015

We’ve had a harvest season for the record books. I don’t ever remember having near perfect harvest weather for so many days without a break, in that weather. Corn, in particular, dried in the field much faster than normal. A tremendous amount of corn went directly from the field to storage, bypassing the dryers. While this is great for cash flow, with less money being spent on drying fuel, it may not turn out so great for us in the long run.
Be sure to monitor the grain in your bins on a regular basis. A fear of mine is that some of the grain testers, currently in use, were manufactured using older technology that may not be entirely accurate today. There have been cases reported recently where corn went into the bin at one moisture and came out three months later 1.5% wetter than it went in. This is a result of faulty moisture testers, currently being used, that were built using the older technology. Corn has changed in the past 30+ years, and testing procedures need to change with it.
Remember to cool your grain down to 50°-55° F. as soon as possible. Corn that is dried to a 15% moisture content and cooled to 50° F. has a shelf life of one year, but raise that temperature to 60° F. and it will lose 40% of its shelf life. The time spent before the corn was dried to 15% and the time before the temperature was lowered to 50° F., greatly reduces shelf life. Therefore, if moisture testing is not accurate, its shelf life can be greatly affected.
Another concern I have has to do with the corn that dried so easy. Will the moisture return to that corn as easily as it was removed? That answer is yet to be seen. Pay close attention to temperature/humidity levels when aerating your grain and monitor, monitor, monitor. I cannot stress that enough. With lower corn prices the margins are tighter, and as we all know, spoiled grain benefits no one. The Lord has blessed us with a bountiful harvest, now it’s our turn to take care of that harvest.