The Following information comes from Gary Woodruff at GSI.
There have been some reports concerning this year’s corn quality. The issues have been reported in KY, IN & IL. The following is meant as a heads up as it is unknown how wide spread either of these issues are at this time. Both of these issues will be even worse in areas where the grain yield is very high and may go into piles for a period and then be moved into steel storage. If you have seen either please us know.
- The Farm Progress Show had some aflatoxin in the harvested grain. It was not in all of the grain or terribly high numbers, but it was present and thought to be due to the fairly long dry period Central IL experienced. You may or may not experience this issue, but if so the grain needs to be dried in a high temperature dryer immediately not allowing it to sit around for more than a few hours. It needs to be dried at least a point dryer than normal to 14% or even less and then there may still be issues with getting this grain accepted by a local elevator. Breathing masks rated for mold should be used any time you enter a bin or are exposed to grain dust, but aflatoxin will make it even more important.
- White Powder coming from a portable or tower dryer or present in a TopDry causing grain flow issues. Dealers in KY & IN have reported an extreme amount of white powder coming out during the drying process. It may be mold but is more likely cracked corn allowing corn starch to leave the kernel and fall through the perforated screens. The powder has been in higher amounts than the fines and bees wings and has been very noticeable. I don’t think anyone knows the actual cause, but it’s likely a combination of variety, periods of drought or just accumulated stress on the kernels. The cracking has been apparent before the grain enters the dryer so it looks to be mechanical in nature. Lowering plenum temperature hasn’t helped so it looks like it will just have to be lived with. Here are the issues that may occur among others not yet known
- You should wear a mask labeled for mold There may be mold present and the dust will help carry it into your system. It’s better to not take chances even if it is just dust so it’s best to wear a mask.
- The area needs to be policed to make sure the buildup doesn’t become a fall issue for safety.
- Portable, Tower and TopDry’s have reported this issue and they have had to be emptied and restarted far more often than is normal. In a few cases once per day. Each situation will be different, but be aware if performance or nuisance shutdowns occur that this may be the issue.
- Aeration and cooling may be severely affected so monitor air flow volume and, particularly with corn being dried in the dryer and transferred hot to the bin so make sure the grain is being properly cooled. If this situation is present the Agri-Dry spreaders will be helpful along with using repetitive coring of 300 to 500 bu. every 6’ to 10’ of depth as the bin fills. It will be important to be much more vigilant monitoring grain in a bin if this cracked corn and powder is present.
- Safety: There has already been one report of a partial entrapment and rescue in grain that stood up in the bin and avalanched over the person attempting to get it moving. The powder itself is probably not the reason, but the out of condition caused by the grain not cooling or properly aerating can lead to conditions which entrapment can occur. Local Agriculture Universities have recommendations for dealing with out of condition grain often located on their grain web sites. Consult them or other experts and make sure that your employees and customers do not endanger themselves if these conditions are present.