Due to mild weather during last September and October, there were higher yields and increased kernel fill for corn producers. Now, Charles Hurburgh, professor and grain quality and handling specialist with Iowa State University (ISU), is offering tips to producers on how to mitigate corn spoilage this coming spring.
He notes that kernels that are not “filled out” and denser than those during last year’s harvest will not likely dry out as easily.
“There will probably be a 1-2 percent higher moisture content difference than anticipated,” said Hurburgh. “Although this is not a huge problem in the winter, when warmer weather arrives we will start to see problems such as wetter cores in storage bins and corn spoilage.”
Spoilage can be prevented by taking grain samples from the core of the grain bin. This will help producers clean trash and flush foreign material, while simultaneously identifying moisture content.
“Producers need to recognize when something will have to be done when weather warms up,” said Hurburgh. “If we have a few consecutive 50-degree days, the top of bins will get warm and spoilage can happen. Producers also need to be prepared to turn fans on or return grain to the dryer if necessary.”
To provide additional help to corn producers, the Iowa Grain Quality Initiative has created a free online learning session to educate professionals on proper grain storage techniques. More information can be found on https://www.extension.iastate.edu/grain.