Still got leftover grain in your bins from 2017 you haven’t sold yet? Well then, you need to really need to consider what needs to be done to help maximize your returns when you do decide to sell. The grain in those bins does still have value, despite what the markets may be showing us, so we need to decide on whether to let it continue to degrade or to take some steps to halt that degradation and make a little more money from it.
The following steps are a few of the most important things I believe will help you in keeping that in-bin crop and preserving the money that is setting in those big steel cans.
- Monitor, Monitor, and Monitor some more. You should be checking your bins weekly right now to ensure the quality of the product being stored. Warming temperatures, wet humid days and cool nights can wreak havoc on the grains being stored in a steel structure. The current outside conditions coupled with cool grain (You did cool your grain last fall, right?) can quickly lead to some serious problems if you are not keeping an eye on your stored product.
- Grain temperatures this spring should have been kept to within 10°-15° of the outdoor average temperature. By doing this, you are helping to eliminate much of the condensation that will occur between the cool grain and the warming bin walls. The key to raising your grain temps is to stop raising it once you have reached 50°-60° F. The 50°-60° range will help to prevent insect/mold activity and greatly extend the time you have for that grain while it is in those bins.
- The head-space above the grain is not just empty space to be ignored. Pay close attention the that area under the roof above the grain, especially in larger bins (48’ and larger). This void can act like the outside temperatures and quickly cause the top layers of grain to go out-of-condition very rapidly if not closely monitored. The natural tendency for the roof to heat the air, if not allowed to ventilate, causes crusting issues every year. Open your bin lids to allow that hot air to escape, or operate your peak vents, if available.
- Unload your bins in stages. When it comes time to sell, it is always best to move grain in stages from a bin. When hauling out, try and use 2-3 bins instead of just one. By unloading this way, you are promoting good air movement and good grain flows through your unload wells.
- Ignoring grain issues will never make them go away. If you do find an issue, deal with it as soon as you know. You may lose some on dockage but some is always better than all. Remove the bad grain to point where it is no longer present and condition the remaining.
- Monitor, Monitor, and Monitor some more. As always, if you have any questions or need some advice, please give us a call.
Thanks and Be Safe,
Midwest Ag Systems, Inc.