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Crop Drying
Choose corn hybrids wisely

Results from Iowa State University’s 2009 Corn Hybrid Performance Trials at various locations in the state are now available. And they vary widely, which shows just how important it is to make wise choices in the hybrids you buy for planting this spring.

Are your soybeans too dry?

Did you harvest soybeans that were less than the market moisture content of 13%? That could cost you a lot of money when you sell the beans.

Low-temp drying

Last year, weather conditions before harvest allowed for weeks of in-field drying, with many high-temperature grain dryers sitting empty. For some Iowa farmers, low-temperature or natural-air drying systems may be better-suited to their needs and use less energy than high-temperature dryers fired by propane or natural gas.

Inspect your stored corn every 2 weeks

The first chore was getting corn in the bin. Widespread pockets of mold, frosted corn and plain wet corn made harvest challenging for many, and a nightmare for some.

Check stored corn for moldy kernels

Ohio farmers are encouraged to diligently monitor their stored corn grain to prevent mold development.

Air-dry a million bushels? You bet

Jim Purlee eased his way into air-drying grain. He started 15 years ago. By 2002, he’d cut himself off from all gas drying. Today he dries nearly a million bushels of corn with nothing but air. And it costs him just 2½ cents a bushel, on average.

Don’t forget bin basics

Natural air-drying of grain has its advantages. Still, many growers may not have the time or space to make a go of it.

Test weight in small grains

Test weight in small grains including wheat, oats and barley is an important component of crop quality and value. The test weight of a representative sample of your crop will give an indication of how it compares to the industry standard. A lower test weight equals lower value. Standard or higher test weights generally bring the best price and provide the best quality when fed to livestock on-farm.

Don’t be bin statistic

Stored grain in poor condition can be a recipe for death. More quality problems in storing grain this past season resulted in more problems with loading it out. There were more than 38 grain entrapments recorded in the U.S. in 2009, the highest number since 1993, according to a report from Purdue University’s Agriculture Safety and Health Program. Forty-two percent of those entrapped didn’t make it out alive.