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Keeping Your Grain Safe in Fluctuating Temperatures

If you don’t like the weather, stick around, it’ll change. Many residents of southern Indiana have muttered these words at one point or another. Inconsistent temperatures seem to be a staple of this region, including those temperatures bouncing above and below the 32-degree freezing mark. The fruits of last year’s crop may not be actively growing, but they are still retaining and even gaining value, being stored in grain bins across the area. Checking the status of stored grain is vital to maintaining that value.

Crusting, wet or sticky kernels can be telltale signs of trouble that require a swift reaction. Grain temperature should remain below 40 degrees for optimal long-term storage. Solar radiation can cause issues in the winter when it comes to grain temperature as the daily total of solar energy on the south side of a grain bin is double on Feb. 21 than it is on June 21. Grain against the nearest two feet of bin walls may be warmer than the average air temperature and can help provide input on when to utilize fans. Fans should not be operated during rain or snow to minimize introducing additional moisture into the grain stored and bin vents should be monitored for ice and frost as damage can occur to the bin roof.

As the last few weeks of a difficult winter pass, continuing to check stored grain will ensure the viability of last year’s work as we move into a planting season that is certain to require more of your immediate attention.

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