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GSI , Assumption, Illinois, reminds producers to take precautions when finishing up their harvest in wet and

cold conditions. (Courtesy photo.)

With wet, cold conditions being experienced in many parts of the Midwest, proper drying and storage is particularly important to protect grain quality as harvest extended into late fall.

Gray Woodruff, a grain conditioning expert and district manager with GSI, Assumption, Illinois, offers these recommendations:

• Dry corn to 14% or dryer, and soybeans to 12% or lower, if they are to be stored into the spring. Storing grain at higher moisture levels risks reduced quality and possible loss of grain.

• If frost damage is observed, lower the plenum temperature in your grain dryer to protect quality and, in severe cases, to avoid the brown to black caramelizing of the high sugar kernels.

• Clean dryers more often than normally, and empty and re-start them every three days or as necessary, instead of the normal seven-day cycle. “This is necessary because of increased fines and debris caused by unusually late planting and wet, cold weather,” Woodruff explains.

• Segregate frost or otherwise compromised grain and sell or use it as soon as possible. “Grain with quality issues will have a much shorter storage life and will deteriorate quickly,” he said. “If the quality is good enough for feed, it needs to be used quickly.”

• Follow standard grain storage best practices, but pay more attention to fines, check the grain more often and move it as soon as any out of condition issues are found. Woodruff notes that farmers planning to store grain past June should maintain grain temperatures within 10°F to 15°F of the outside air to avoid grain deterioration caused by condensation developing on grain bin interiors.

“Always consult your local agriculture university for local recommendations as conditions vary widely, and what works in one state or area may not work in another,” he adds.

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