Normally you can dump 17% corn into a bin without running it through a dryer and dry it with aeration. It saves firing up the dryer, which saves valuable energy costs. However, Richard Stroshine, Purdue University grain quality specialist, says following that practice could be a mistake that leads to quality problems in storage this year.
He's basing this advice on his assumption that it will still be hot when the corn is harvested and put in the bin. Since it was planted early, and since the warmer than normal trend is expected to continue through October, he foresees binning corn when the temperature is 85 to 90 F. Normally it's much cooler when you would bin corn at 17% moisture content. Then you could dry it out counting on cooler nighttime temperatures.
Stroshine says that larger bins won't solve the problem either. The process that occurs within large bins with false floors actually tends to add more heat to the corn. Normally cooling air moving up through the grain would release enough moisture to offset it. But this year Stroshine doesn't anticipate having the advantage of those cool nights for cooling, especially not early in the harvest season. He believes that corn could pick up as much as another 8 degrees because of the physical process that happens under the bin floor.
His recommendation would be to dry corn in a dryer, even if it comes out of the field at 17%, assuming it's still warmer than usual outside. He doesn't believe this is a good year to take chances. He also believes in drying the crop to 15% moisture, perhaps 14% or 13% if aflatoxin is an issue or if you plan to store it well into next summer.