Grain Cleaners May Pay For Themselves This Fall

Grain gurus are urging farmers to clean grain either before or after drying.

Published on: Oct 3, 2013

Indiana corn yields are still going to be good – likely around trend yield. That seems pretty much a lock now that some farmers have begun combining corn, with yield reports for whole fields from 140 to over 200 bushels per acre for irrigated corn. However, test weight and grain quality may not be quite up to par in areas that weren't irrigated, and that didn't receive much rain in August during grain fill. Overall, August in Indiana on the statewide average was the third driest August on the books since records were kept.

Purdue University Extension grain specialist Klein Ileleji is urging farmers to clean the grain, preferably as it goes into the dryer, but for sure either before or after and before going to the bin. He believes beeswings and chaff and light kernels may be present at higher levels than normal due to the dry spell. At the same time, corn moisture levels may be higher than normal, although good drying weather in September may allow the crop to be harvested at somewhat drier levels than some first feared.

Just in time: This new grain cleaner debuted at the Farm Progress Show, and may be just in time to help farmers sort out fines from this years crop. This cleaner is designed to receive corn from the dryer.
Just in time: This new grain cleaner debuted at the Farm Progress Show, and may be just in time to help farmers sort out fines from this year's crop. This cleaner is designed to receive corn from the dryer.

Nevertheless, too many fines typically pile up in the center if allowed to stay in the grain and enter the bin. They can block airflow and set up conditions for both spoilage and insect problems. One method is to remove the core of grain by taking out a few loads once the bin is full. In theory, the center core empties out first, and should bring most of the fiends with it. However, that assumes you can get the grain to the level you want it as far as moisture and temperature go to prevent any spoilage until you have time to pull the core out. In bigger bins pulling out the core can mean taking out several truckloads of corn.

That's why most specialists prefer keeping the fines out of the bin in the first place.