It’s important to consider a variety of aspects while keeping grain harvests for lengthy periods of time. If you make a mistake, the quality will suffer, perhaps resulting in large financial losses.
Temperature control and moisture reduction are two major issues in farm grain storage.
Grains like wheat, barley, and oats, when kept correctly, may last for several years, giving farmers the time they need to wait for better prices. Many things may go wrong, from biological deterioration to insect damage; thus, meticulous planning and preparation are necessary both before and after harvest.
When planning your long-term grain storage, keep these 8 tips in mind.
Bins Need to Be Cleaned and Prepared
To avoid mold and mildew, it’s critical to thoroughly clean storage containers before putting grains away for the long haul. The use of safe fumigation and pesticide treatments is required for any insects found in aeration ducts, beneath perforated flooring, or in the grain bins themselves. If you do not have sufficient containers, you can search from property listing business sites near you and lease or buy one.
Bin sprays and grain protectants, for example, may help lower the likelihood of insect-related problems. Insects are more prone to difficulties during summer, which is particularly crucial.
Store the Best Grain Possible
The grain you’re keeping should be of the highest possible quality. Long-term storage will further exacerbate the spoilage of grain that has been damaged by moisture or insects. It’s not a good idea to keep this year’s grain alongside the previous year’s.
You’ll also want to have tough, mature grains on hand. Grains exposed to cold, for example, may be immature and less likely to survive a prolonged storage period.
Proper Drying Times and Moisture Levels
There are distinct moisture content requirements for each variety of grain. When storing grains for more than a few months, they should be dried to a lower moisture content than typical. For example, wheat should be dried to a lower moisture content than soybeans.
This lower moisture level is necessary because it takes moisture to develop mold and moisture issues in grain. As a result, grains stored through the summer months require this lower moisture level, and grains stored for multiple years (and summers) require an even lower moisture level. Maintaining the storage bins themselves is a necessary task. Storage of grains requires a clean, dry environment free of insects, mold, and fungus.
Corn, for example, should be dried to a moisture content of 15% or below before being kept for any length of time. Corn must be stored at a moisture content of 13% if it is to be held until the following harvest in July or later when temperatures rise. However, if it is to be kept for a year or more, the moisture percentage must be 14 percent or lower.
Having a fully functioning and accurate agricultural grain and seed moisture meter is essential because of these exact moisture parameters. Having a dependable moisture meter may make all the difference in grain storage when dealing with significant moisture level variations of just a degree or two. As a result, grain rotting leads to a loss of profit, and too much moisture causes grain deterioration. A moisture meter is essential since even a one percent difference in moisture content may significantly influence how well grain stores.
Temperature Is a Critical Factor
Keeping your grain at a consistent temperature is critical to the long-term viability of your storage facility. How important is it? A reliable thermometer may keep tabs on the grain’s temperature. The vitality of your grain will be maintained by storing it at or below freezing temperature throughout the cold months of the year. In the spring and summer, the grain may be gradually warmed. Grain should be stored at a temperature of 40 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit. However, opinions differ on the ideal range.
Do you know why it matters so much? Grain must be kept at a suitable temperature to prevent it from providing the ideal conditions for mold to thrive. The grain must be kept dry and at a low moisture level, but it must also be kept cool enough to prevent mold development while still being heated enough to prevent damage from freezing temperatures.
The quality, temperature, and moisture of your grain should be checked at least once a week during the summer and once every few weeks during the winter. First, check your moisture meter to see whether there is any odor. If there is, then capture a sample. For this quantity of testing, there are rapid moisture testers that are both touch and non-contact. Some analyzers can test in storage hoppers without the need for samples.
Be aware of the stench, condensation on the ceiling, and excessive pressure caused by the aeration fans. Insects may also be a sign of moisture or deterioration, so watch out for them.
Watch Out for Insects
Insects are another incentive to keep an eye on grain throughout the summer.
In warmer weather, you may go from just a few insects to a full-blown infestation in as little as two to three weeks. Taking remedial action is impossible if you don’t check in weekly or biweekly. You might end up responding to significant issues.
Insect traps are also recommended. Keep grain till the end of summer and use bug traps to detect if any pests are present. The grain must be treated if there are.”
Get into the practice of coring your grains on a regular basis to aerate them. Remember that air travels in the direction of least resistance. Therefore fines tend to congregate near the center. Air will seep in from the exterior, causing the core to deteriorate. Grain bins are designed to aid aeration. Consider getting one rather than storing grains in a warehouse. Used grain bins may be purchased for as little as $9,000, which is a considerable price difference from what is presently available on the market.
Don’t Add New Grain to Old
You can’t go wrong with fresh-picked grain. In no way does storage increase the quality of a product. Storage problems might arise if the fresh grain is mixed with older grain that isn’t yet stable. That’s why you should never combine them. Prior to cleaning and prepping the bins, combine all the old grain to create a way for the new crop. If you don’t have enough space, you may rent or purchase one from local listing properties for sale or lease.
In the grain market, weather patterns and unpredictable trade agreements determine prices. Anyone who wants to succeed as a grain farmer must have a strategy. To get the most out of your harvest, you need to invest in long-term grain storage. Doing so will help you maximize your grain’s marketability, which might extend throughout summer and perhaps longer.
A farmer’s most precious asset is his or her stock of stored grains. It’s a loss of earnings if they are damaged. As a result, until they are sold, they must be protected in order to maintain their quality.
Author: Bob Kappas