The 2019 crop year downright sucked. But if there is any relief in sharing the misery, I can promise you weren’t alone in on-farm storage struggles. The wet crop not only wreaked havoc on dryers but it could cause problems with storage quality. If extra storage precautions aren’t taken now, the wet crop could cause just as many headaches coming out of the bin as it did going in.
The best thing to do right now is to be checking your bins frequently. As the weather starts to warm up, fans need to be turned on to bring the internal temperature of the bin to meet the temperature outside. By turning your fans on and walking around the outside of the bin, you will begin to get an idea of what’s going on inside by the smell alone. If things start getting stinky, you know fans need to be kept on to prevent crop conditions from getting worse. In other words, try to salvage what hasn’t started spoiling. If you have a hunch your grain is starting to spoil, look inside the bin; a haze is a tell-tale sign of spoilage. Once again, turning your fans on and letting them run through spring is going to be key.
The wet crop can cause multiple unloading issues but the biggest problem will be clogged center wells. Some people may be tempted to unload the bin from the side but I am telling you right now, don’t even think about it. Bins are not designed for this and can very likely end up collapsing from the uneven weight inside. If you run into a clogged center well, be sure to give us a call. We will weld a flange onto the side of the bin just above the floor and push a tube into the center. We will then use a vac to suck the grain out.
One can only hope the crop year of 2019 never repeats itself, but in the case of future wet crops, here are a few simple bin improvements to help maximize airflow:
Between installing simple improvements to better manage future high-moisture crops and taking extra precautions on stored grain today, hopefully optimum crop quality can be achieved.