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Purdue Extension Martin County Blast October 23, 2023


The Purdue Extension Martin County weekly column is provided to help all learn

about programs & opportunities. We highlight events from Purdue University & Extension

where we hope you will choose to be part of Extension…..  where there is Opportunity4All! 



Sunday, November 5, 2023

Martin County 4-H Fairgrounds & Event Center, Community Building


4-H members & volunteers:   Please help by providing a dessert and help setting up on Saturday Nov. 4th, at 10:00 am and also helping on Sunday, November 5th with preparation, serving, and clean up.    



Sunday, November 5, 2023 12 noon EST to 12:30 pm EST

Martin County 4-H Fairgrounds & Event Center, Community Building


Martin County Extension Board: Accepting New Member Nominations & Annual Meeting

The Martin County Extension Board is the advisory and advocacy body of the overall Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service in Martin County. The Board provides an organized way for the county to be represented by local people in its relationship with Extension.  It is an unincorporated association serving in advisory capacities.


New member nominations, including high school youth representation, are being sought for consideration at the Annual Meeting. Please contact Dena with recommendations or if you would like to serve and become more involved with Extension! 


The Annual Meeting will be Thursday, November 16 at 6:30 pm, Martin County 4-H Fairgrounds, Community Building, 2666 US Hwy 50, Loogootee, IN.  In conjunction with the Annual Meeting, a special program regarding Artificial Intelligence will be presented. All those interested in more information may contact the Martin County Extension Office.  RSVP by November 9th is appreciated but not required: a meal will be provided. All are invited. Youth who are interested in Artificial Intelligence as a college and career pathway are particularly encouraged to attend!


Indiana is receiving close to $870 million for broadband. How much Martin County gets is up to us and our neighbors!


A huge investment is underway to make sure rural and underserved communities have equal access to broadband. Where the money goes will be based on data collected.


We need as many people as possible to submit information about their internet in order for Martin County to get the most funds possible.


You may have completed similar speed tests over the past year or two – but this is the one that will determine where the most need is and where the money will go.


Here’s what to do to make sure your location is counted:

  • If you do not have internet, text “Internet” to 463-946-4699 or call 463-946-4699
  • If you do have internet of any kind (excluding cell data):
    1. Visit to submit a speed test
      • Make sure you are connected to your home (or business) internet and not to cellular data.
      • It is important to do this multiple times at different times of the day
    2. Visit, enter your address and look to see which internet providers are listed as available for your address
      • Make sure the “fixed broadband” tab is selected
      • If your address comes up at the wrong spot, click on the dot that is closest to the address pin and verify that it is the correct address. If it is not, click location challenge on the right
      • If your provider availability list is incorrect, click availability challenge on the right


A couple of important notes:

  • If your tested internet speed is less than 100Mbps download and 20Mbps upload (aka 100/20) you are considered underserved
  • If your only internet option is satellite – you are considered
  • If you have dedicated wireless (not cell phone data) that is considered served.
  • This is not for cellular data. However, you can follow step 2 above and select the “mobile broadband” tab to see which services are listed as available for your address.


For step by step instructions with screen shots visit:


IF YOU DO NOT HAVE ACCESS TO INTERNET OR YOUR SPEED IS LESS THAN 100/20, you should also visit and click at the top where it says “click here to register” This will allow you to call special attention to your address. If you don’t know all the questions, that is ok. What is most important is your name, phone number, physical address, email address if you have one, and county. The rest can be left blank if you don’t know the answer.


Financial assistance is available to those within certain income levels. Visit to learn more and apply for assistance.


Purdue Extension staff are here and happy to help, if you need assistance, please call 812-295-2412 or text 812-653-2089.


calling all 4-H members:  become an Indiana Broadband Influencer

Do you want to help bring broadband to every person in Indiana?


Indiana will be receiving $870 million dollars to bring broadband to areas where connectivity is low or non-existent. The FCC will use the map to determine what areas will be prioritized. Our job is to make sure that the map is correct.  


Will you help correct that important map?  If you choose to report your help, you will receive a broadband influencer pin and enter your essay in the contest to win an iPad. 

Go to enter your address and answer the questions. It is a good idea to take a screenshot of your results, especially if you are unserved.


Then verify your address at  If it is incorrect, or if the information about your speed is incorrect, please submit a challenge. If you do need to issue a challenge, it helps to have multiple screenshots of speed tests over time to upload. 


Next, write one paragraph explaining why ensuring that everyone in your community has broadband internet will help your community and make it a better place to live. 


Once you have done these three things, go to 4-H Online and register for the Indiana Broadband Influencer event. You will find instructions attached. Then, just wait for your pin. They will be sent after the first of the year, so make sure you do this early.  



Martin County Extension is accepting applications for youth 8-12 grade to serve on the Martin County Teens as Teachers STEM Team.  This team will present the Power Protectors curriculum to younger students.

How to apply: Express interest via email to or via text 812-653-2089 by answering these five simple questions:

  1. Name
  2. Grade
  3. School attended
  4. Why is STEM important?
  5. Where might the Power Protectors activities be taught at?

Power Protectors is a National STEM curriculum developed by 4-H educators from Cornell University, University of Illinois, Utah State University and West Virginia University and a collection that teaches kids how to address real-world issues and explore careers in energy.  The Power Protectors STEM Challenge kit includes three activities designed for individuals or groups and are adaptable for after-school programs, 4-H clubs, classrooms, home use, and more. The activities are:

  1. Superhero Hideout–  Kids will learn about renewable energy and design an electrifying Power Protector hideout!
  2. Amped Up Engineering– Acting as engineers, kids will design and build a model of a renewable energy source to help Energy Island survive and thrive!
  3. Energy Island Adventure– Playing this collaborative board game, kids work as a SUPER team using solar, wind and hydropower to save endangered Energy Island!


You now have an option to text with Extension staff.  Text 812-653-2089 to reach Purdue Extension Martin County.


All are invited to send a text with your name and in return a full detailed contact card will be texted back for you to save in your device contacts. The contact card will include helpful links will be easy for you to save in your contacts for future use. Then, going forward, you may text as a straight communication option for your Purdue Extension needs!


Adult Volunteer Enrollment for the new program year


Thank you to each and every Extension/4-H volunteer for all you do! Here is to a great new year.


All adult volunteers must re-enroll to obtain volunteer certification for 2023-2024 programming season at  Please complete your re-enrollment this month.

On the home page choose:


Purdue Extension/Indiana 4-H

Enroll Now


Follow the questions, answer & confirm/choose/next to move forward as options appear.  At the end, please submit your enrollment and complete the 3 training modules.  Your request for enrollment review cannot be completed until training is completed.


If you have any questions, please call or email


2024 martin county 4-h fair 

July 11-16, 2024



The 167th Great Indiana State Fair will be Friday, August 2nd to Sunday, August 18th, 2024; closed on Mondays.


Applications will be accepted for the 2024 Junior & Senior Boiler Vet Camp until February 1st, 2024. 


The Junior Camp will run from June 2-8 and Senior Camp will run from June 9-15.


The only camp of its kind in Indiana, Boiler Vet Camp gives want-to-be veterinarians or veterinary nurses the chance to live out their dreams. This camp is designed for students who are interested in becoming veterinary healthcare professionals and provides a preview into the real and vast fields of veterinary medicine. Students who attended a previous camp cannot repeat the same camp.


Through presentations, demonstrations, laboratories, visits and in-depth, hands-on activities, students will discover what modern veterinary medicine is all about. Students will gain personal experience of what it is like to attend vet school and what it takes to become a veterinarian or veterinary nurse through this seven day on-campus experience at one of the premier veterinary schools in the country. Students entering 8th and 9th grades are eligible to attend Junior Camp and students entering the 10th, 11th, or 12th grades are eligible to attend the Senior Camp. The minimum age required to attend Vet Camp is 12 years of age.


Many partnering organizations have joined with the College of Veterinary Medicine to provide financial assistance for both camps. Partial scholarships are available. Camp fees are all-inclusive for the hands-on in-residence camps.


Learn more and apply now at



Monday, November 6, 2023 10 am – 12 Noon EST

Martin County 4-H Fairgrounds & Event Center, Community Building

     Topic: Anhydrous Ammonia, Regulatory Update

Lunch served

Contact: Dena Held 812-295-2412, texting 812-653-2089, or e-mailing 



Monday, November 6, 2023 5 pm – 8:30 pm EST

5667 N 900 East, Montgomery, IN

Topics: Herbicide resistance, Pollinator exposure

Dinner served 

Contact: Sarah Brackney 812-254-8668



Monday, November 13, 2023 10 am – 12 pm EST

Knox County Fairgrounds, Bicknell, IN

Topic: Fungicide, Regulatory Update

Contact: Valerie Clingerman 812-882-3509



     Monday, November 13, 2023 6 pm – 8 pm EST

Hornady Park, Petersburg, IN

Topic: Fungicide, Regulatory Update

Dinner served

Contact: Valerie Clingerman 812-882-3509



You can’t take care of your farm, your livestock or your family if you don’t first take care of yourself.


The Purdue Farm Stress team is part of a 12-state collaborative effort that was awarded the Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network grant administered by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.  The goal is to create/expand stress management and mental health resources and services to agricultural producers/stakeholders in the North Central region.  Listen to the podcast!  Tools For Today’s Farmer.   Featuring interviews with leaders in the agriculture industry.  Find it anywhere you listen to podcasts or simply google search “Tools for Today’s Farmer Podcast.” 


Resources for Farm Families:

Need help and don’t know where to start:

Call:  211 OR

988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline

Call: 988 OR

Be Well Indiana

Call: 211 OR 1-866-211-9966 OR https//


Concern Line for Farmers (Hosted by Iowa)

Call:  1-800-477-1985

Farm Aide Hotline

Call:  1-800-327-6243

Strong Couples Project (Partnership with IL)



Check the website for more resources and information:



February 28, 2024

Beck Agricultural Center, West Lafayette,  IN

The Indiana Organic Grain Farmer meeting increases participant understanding of organic transition, certification and cropping systems through peer learning and networking.  This annual event includes education and workshops on transitioning to organic grain, breakout sessions, farmer panels, networking time and an industry trade show.

For more information contact:  Ashley Adair - Extension Organic Agriculture Specialist  Email:


2024 Indiana Small Farm Conference

WHEN:  Thursday, February 29, 2024 – March 1, 2024

WHERE:  Hendricks County Fairgrounds, Danville,  Indiana

The Indiana Small Farm Conference is a unique space to learn new techniques, see what works, and network with others.  Over 400 attendees, 40 + exhibitors and a vendor trade show along with several national speakers.

To learn more about the conference and the work that the Purdue team does to make your small farming program work.  Contact Information: Amy Thompson,

If you are interested in being a show vendor, contact:  Phil Cox at



Adapted from:

The Indiana State Department of Agriculture is seeking applicants for a new soil sampling program. The program called, Indiana’s Mississippi River Basin Soil Sampling program, is free to applicants. This seeks to encourage famers to include soil sampling in their plans for nutrient management.

This program will provide soil sampling and analysis at no cost to the producer along with lab recommendations for nutrient applications based on yield goals and soil test results.

Producers will work with ISDA staff to coordinate soil sampling and to provide the best available information for the most accurate recommendations. Soil sampling will take place prior to fertilizer application.

Samples will be submitted to contracted labs for routine soil fertility testing.

This program includes row crop fields, pastures, and specialty crops located within Indiana’s portion of the Mississippi River Basin.

Participating growers will be prioritized by:

  • Fields that have never been sampled before, or
  • Fields that haven’t been sampled regularly (i.e., not sampled within the last 3-4 years), and
  • New program enrollments.

Further prioritization may be implemented based on interest in the program.

Producers can register via the online form, by reaching out to their Resource Specialist, by reaching out to the Program Manager at or 317-605-0701.




The IBCA area meetings are open to all beef producers and feature great food, valuable information on beef issues, policies, programs, and fellowship. There will also be updates on current news& events from Indiana Beef Cattle Association and Indiana Beef Council, Indiana State Board of Animal Health, National Cattlemen's Beef Association and Purdue University Ext * Indicates an election to be held for Area Director.

If you want an opportunity to be more involved in the beef industry within Indiana, we encourage you to run for an Area Director position! If you would like more information of what the role entails, please Contact Brian Shuter or call our office! (317)293-2333

Please check the schedule for your area and mark your calendar now!


Area 1: Thursday, December 7, 2023 at 6:00 pm; South East Purdue Ag Center (SEPAC), Butlerville

RSVP to Jennings County Extension office at 812-352-3033 by 11/30/23.

Current IBCA Director: Vacant


Area 2: Saturday, December 9, 2023 at Noon; Pewter Hall, Brownstown

RSVP to the Lawrence County Extension Office at 812-275-4623 by 12/1/23.

Current IBCA Director: Steve Ritter


Area 3: Wednesday, December 13,  2023 at 7:00 pm. ET / 6:00 p.m. CT; The Village Inn, Petersburg

RSVP to the Gibson County Extension office at 812-385-3491 by 12/6/23.

Current IBCA Director: Mick Douglas


Area 5: Monday, December 11, 2023 at 6:30 pm; Harmony Community Center, Brazil

RSVP to Owen County Extension office at 812-829-5020 by 12/4/23.

Current IBCA Director: J.D. Faulk


Area 6: Sunday, December 10, 2023 at 6:30 pm;

Elanco Animal Health, Greenfield

RSVP to Hancock County Extension office at 317-462-1113 by 12/4/23.

Current IBCA Director: Deryl Hunt


Area 7: Thursday, December 14, 2023 at 6:30 pm; Willie & Red’s Buffet, Hagerstown

RSVP to the Madison Co. Extension Office at 765-641-9514 by 12/7/23.

Current IBCA Director: Dan Chesnut


Area 8: Monday, December 18, 2023 at 6pm; The Peoples Winery, Logansport

RSVP to the Cass Co. Extension Office at 574-753-7750 by 12/11/23.

Current IBCA Director: David Helms


Area 9: Monday, December 11, 2023 at 6:00 pm.; McGraw’s Steakhouse, West Lafayette

RSVP to at the Fountain County Extension office at 765-793-2297 by 12/4/23.

Current IBCA Director: Dr. Dave Dixon


Area 10: Tuesday December 12, 2023 at 7:00 p.m. ET / 6:00 pm CT; Christo’s Banquet Center, Plymouth

RSVP to Kosciusko Co. Extension at 574-372-2340 by 12/5/2023.

Current IBCA Director: Bob Dragani


Area 11: Wednesday, December 13, 2023 at 6:30 pm.; Whitley Co. Ag Museum, Columbia City

RSVP to the Whitley County Extension office at 260-244-7615 by 12/6/23.

Current IBCA Director: Jacob Pettigrew


 Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) Training


Cattle producers wanting in-person training and certification for Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) will have an opportunity on November 2, 2023 from 6:30-9:00 PM.  The training will be hosted by Purdue Extension at the Southern Indiana Purdue Ag Center (SIPAC) at 11371 E. Purdue Farm Road, Dubois, IN. 


Pre-registration is needed for accommodations, exams, and certificates as well as to speed the registration process and printing of certificates, and can be made to the Purdue Extension – Dubois County office at or ph.(812) 482-1782.


Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) is a program that provides systematic information to U.S. beef producers of how good husbandry techniques can be coupled with accepted scientific knowledge to raise cattle under optimum management conditions. BQA Certification is valid for a consecutive three-year period, with BQA certification frequently being a requirement for the purchase of cattle by many large-scale buyers.





This is a four-week course offered virtually November 28, December 5, 12, and 19 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. EST. This is a discussion-based workshop to connect women and subject-matter experts in the areas of financial records and interpreting results.  Participants should plan on attending each of the four workshop dates. The course requires participants to have an internet connection.  Women will find many opportunities for questions, sharing, and connecting with the presenters and other participants.  Upon completion of this program, participants will have a better understanding of how financial records can be used to make decisions.

Session highlights:
Week 1 - Balance sheet construction and interpretation
Week 2 – Cash flow and income statement fundamentals
Week 3 – Ratios, lease evaluations and negotiations
Week 4 - Know Your Numbers Know Your Options

Registration is $20 per participant and class size is limited to 20.

Register by November 22 at: .

Class material is based upon work supported by USDA/NIFA under Award Number 2020-70028-32728 (Cooperating with University of Nebraska Extension). For more information, or if you need a reasonable accommodation to participate in this program, please contact Mathias Ingle  or 765-456-2313 by November 22, 2023.




Adapted from

By Michael Langemeier


Cash corn prices in Kansas were over $7 per bushel in the first 4 months of 2023, peaking in February at $7.35 per bushel.  The average corn price in August, the latest month for which data is available from USDA-NASS, was $5.70 or 22% lower than the average corn price in February.  Corn futures prices for 2024 currently range from $5.00 to $5.20 per bushel.  Thus, corn prices are expected to remain below the levels experienced in the last couple of years for the foreseeable future.  This article examines the impact of lower corn prices on feeding cost of gain for cattle finishing.


Impact of Lower Corn Prices On Feeding Cost of Gain for Cattle Finishing

Feeding Cost of Gain

Feeding cost of gain is sensitive to changes in feed conversions, corn prices, and alfalfa prices.  Information on these items are available from monthly issues of the Focus on Feedlots newsletter.  Figure 1 in the article illustrates feeding cost of gain from January 2013 to August 2023.  In August 2023, corn and alfalfa inventory prices were $7.04 per bushel and $273 per ton, respectively.  After averaging $125 per cwt. in 2022, feeding cost of gain averaged $147 and $145 per cwt. for the first and second quarters of 2023.  Feeding cost of gain in August was $141.83.  It is important to note that since this estimate was made corn prices have continued to decline.


Feeding of gain for the rest of 2023 was estimated using early October projections of corn and alfalfa prices, and seasonal average feed conversions.  Because feeding cost of gain is computed using corn prices from the time cattle are placed to the time they are sold, corn prices experienced earlier this year will impact feeding cost of gain for the next several months.  With this in mind, feeding cost of gain for the third quarter of 2023 is expected to range from $134 to $143 per cwt., with the highest cost occurring in July.  For the fourth quarter, feeding cost of gain is expected to range from $115 to $130 per cwt.  Feeding cost of gain for the first six months of 2024 is expected to range from $103 to $112 per cwt.  Is it possible for feeding cost of gain to drop below $100 per cwt.?  The answer is yes, but this is not likely to occur unless corn price this fall and winter drops below $4.50 per bushel.


Sensitivity of Feeding Cost of Gain to Changes in Corn Prices

To determine the sensitivity of feeding cost of gain to changes in corn prices, alfalfa prices, and feed conversion, a regression using data for the last ten years was estimated.  Results are as follows: each 0.10 increase in feed conversion increases feeding cost of gain by $1.33 per cwt., each $0.10 per bushel increase in corn prices increases feeding cost of gain by $0.96 per cwt., and each $5 per ton increase in alfalfa prices increases feeding cost of gain by $0.53 per cwt.  To more fully understand the impact of feed conversion, corn price, and alfalfa price on feeding cost of gain, we computed coefficients of separate determination (Langemeier et al., 1992).  These coefficients can be used to measure the influence of each independent variable upon the dependent variable.  The sum of the coefficients of separate determination for each variable equals the R-square goodness of fit measure, which was 0.959 for the feeding cost of gain regression.  This goodness of fit statistic indicates that 95.9 percent of the variation in feeding cost of gain was explained by fluctuations in feed conversions, corn prices, and alfalfa prices.  Computed coefficients of separate determination indicated that corn price explained approximately 76 percent of the variation in feeding cost of gain.


To further examine the sensitivity of feeding cost of gain to changes in the corn price, let’s use the farmdoc Price Distribution Tool and the March 2024 corn futures contract.  The mid-point price is currently about $5 per bushel.  The 25% and 75% percentile prices are approximately $4.60 and $5.40, respectively.  Feeding cost of gain at the mid-point price is $107 per cwt.  At the 25% and 75% percentile corn prices, feeding cost of gain would be $103 and $111 per cwt., respectively.  This analysis strengthens the argument made above that corn price would need to drop below $4.50 for feeding cost of gain to fall below $100 per cwt.


Summary & Conclusions

Corn prices have declined substantially since the first half of this year.  This article examined the impact of higher corn prices on feeding cost of gain for cattle finishing.  Using projected corn prices, feeding cost of gain is expected to decline from $142 per cwt. in August to $114 in December, and then remain in the $103 to $112 per cwt. range for the first 6 months of 2024.  However, it is important to note than each $0.10 change in corn price results in a change feeding cost of gain of $0.96 per cwt.  Thus, it would not take a particularly wide swing in corn prices to change our projections.




Please join us for the 2023 Regional Ag Forum Wednesday, November 29th at the Toyota Events Center 709 N Embree Street Princeton, IN 47670.


Good information and great opportunity for networking with other producers in the region.  Panel of regionals farmers discussing relevant topics as well as up to date information on climate smart funding.  Adam Daughtery will speak on beginning cover crops, followed by a farmer panel.  At 11am, there will be climate smart funding speed talks.  Lunch is provided free of charge, but registration is required.  After lunch, Adam Daughtery will speak again on a more advanced topic.  The day will start at 7:30am CST with registration, doughnuts, coffee and networking and should wrap up around 2pm CST.  Registration

Post-Harvest Grain Management Strategies For The Fall

Adapted from:

By Klein Ilelegji


This article focuses on securing the crop by ensuring that grain is harvested timely, dried adequately and binned correctly.


Harvest grain timely and dry adequately for safe storage

First of all, it is important to know what moisture content you need to be storing your grain at based on your short and long-term marketing plans. How long you intend to store your grain will determine the level of moisture content to dry your grain to. Table 1 provides a guideline on recommended maximum moisture contents at storage periods from up to 6 months to over one year for various grain types. Note that the longer you intend to hold your grain, the lower the level of moisture you need to be. This is very important especially if you would be storing your grain through the warm summer months, when managing grain becomes more challenging, and the potential for insect pests and mold problems increases. Please note the caveat below the table headline – reduce safe storage moisture content by 1% for poor quality grain.



Harvesting grain timely after it matures on the field is important for ensuring the yields achieved is secured in the bin. Moisture content is one variable that drives the decision on when to harvest because it impacts the cost that would be incurred in artificially drying grain using a low-temperature or high-temperature dryer compared to leaving the grain to naturally dry-down on the field. Table 1 gives maximum recommended moisture for various grains and oilseeds at harvest. Most farmers will typically take advantage of good dry weather to allow corn and soybean to naturally dry-down on the field to below 25% and 15%, respectively, before they commence harvesting. However, since field dry-down is weather dependent, some years happen to be great for fall field drying, while others are not. There are other risks, which determine whether to harvest early such as an extreme weather event like a storm that could cause huge damages to crops. The risks/cost of leaving the crop on the field to dry-down rather than harvesting early and drying artificially needs to be considered. Also, the rate of field dry-down for grain reduces as day-time temperature drops as we progress into the fall. So for corn planted late that would be harvested late in the fall, there is only a little window to take advantage of field dry-down. Additionally, make sure combine harvesters are adjusted to bring in clean grain, which helps grain handling through drying and storage. Excessive thrash/pods harvested with corn/soybean are a potential fire hazard when drying using high-temperature dryers, especially when thrash is allowed to accumulate in dryers. Routine cleaning of thrash from grain dryers is adviced (for example weekly).


Drying and cooling grain


Natural air (NA) or low temperature (LT) air (aeration with the addition of heat, 5 to 10oF) in-bin drying is recommended if corn and soybean are harvested below 20% and 15% moistures, respectively, especially when harvested early in the fall when ambient daytime temperatures are still in the 60 to 70oF range. Otherwise, consider using a high temperature dryer (180oF or more air temperature), especially for higher moistures so that grain is dried as quickly as possible to prevent the onset of spoilage in a wet holding bin. Shallower grain fill depths or larger diameter bins favor in-bin drying because the drying front has less depth to move through compared to a narrower and taller bin. Having adequate airflow (cfm/bu) by properly using an adequately sized fan is key to successfully using NA/LT systems for drying as well as for aeration. The higher the airflow, the better the system. An airflow of 1.5 cfm/bu is recommended for use in NA/LT in-bin systems for grain in Indiana.  For soybean, care needs to be taken to dry in order to prevent split beans. Ensure that drying air humidity levels are not below 40% when drying soybean with medium (120-140oF) or high-temperatures (160-180oF).


For both corn and soybean, ensure that adequate aeration is applied to grain using natural air after drying. Aeration is not intended for drying grain, but rather for lowering grain temperature (cooling) in order to prevent spoilage. Nevertheless, a little bit of moisture is removed from the grain during each aeration cycle (about 0.25 to 0.3 percentage points of moisture  per 10oF temperature decrease).  Airflow rates as low as 0.05 (1/20) cfm/bu to over 1 cfm/bu can be successfully used to cool down grain in the bin. In general, dividing 15 by the airflow rate gives an estimate of the hours required to change the temperature of the grain by aeration. For example, it’ll take 150 hours of fan run time to change the temperature of corn having an airflow rate of 0.1 cfm/bu, and doubling the airflow rate to 0.2cfm/bu reduces the fan runtime by half (75 hours).  The cold winter ambient temperatures provide a natural low cost means to preserve grain by chilling. Chilled grain can be held cold through the spring.  Table 2 provides a guide on how to cool grain in step-wise phases through the fall-winter period. Dry binned grain can be cooled to below 32oF without any detrimental effects to the kernel integrity. Under cold grain conditions, insect pests are adequately controlled and in most cases killed during this period. Notice that grain should not be warmed up in the spring to ambient spring temperatures, but rather still kept cool. Additionally, during the warm spring period, the aeration fan’s airflow intake should be covered to prevent warm air from re-warming the grain through the plenum. Should the grain in the bin still be cold during the time of loadout from the bin, it is advisable to warm up the grain to the ambient temperature prior to load out. This will prevent moisture from condensing on cold grain during loadout. Having temperature cables in the grain bulk, and or temperature/relative humidity (RH) sensors in the headspace and/or plenum depending on whether you have a positive pressure aeration system (pushing air from the plenum through grain) or a negative pressure aeration systems (pulling air from the headspace through grain) will enable the temperature front be monitored as it moves through the grain. The use of temperature/RH sensors is a good way to monitor the progress of the temperature front during aeration so that fans can be shut-off timely, and therefore energy used wisely.


Remove fines from the grain bulk core to facilitate aeration

Last but not the least is coring the bin during filling to prevent the accumulation of fines and brokens at the center of the grain mass, which could cause the onset of spoilage. Coring reduces the levels of fines and broken kernels, which lodge at the center of the bin during filling, and helps improve airflow through the grain bulk. A rule of thumb when coring a bin is to pull out 1/3 to 1/2 the bin diameter, so that you have an inverted cone at the surface (See Figure 1).


Ensure moisture meters used on the farm are calibrated prior to use. It is advisable to check your moisture meter calibration with the elevator you deliver grain to. This way ensures that the moisture content measured by your elevator when you deliver grain is close to what you would have measured prior to delivery. While you go about your harvest and work around your bins, remember to put safety first. Safety for your personnel and family members must never be compromised. In the busyness of the harvest season, remember to pause to think about whether you are going about your operations in a safe manner. Be safe!


MWPS-13 Grain Drying, Handling and Storage Handbook, 2017. Third Edition Copyright @ 2017, Iowa State University/Midwest Plan Service.


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