A combination of transportation challenges and high corn and soybean yields has placed additional pressure on the grain market this fall. Now, experts from the University of Kentucky are coming together to recommend the various alternatives for grain storage.
“A producer’s job really isn’t done until grain has passed grade at the elevator and is sold,” said Sam McNeill, extension agricultural engineer at the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. “The diligence spent scouting fields during the growing season should transfer over to managing stored grain."
Many producers are turning to additional grain bins to cope with the problem. Some are looking at alternative storage options, such as covered outdoor piles or grain bags. However, not all of these alternatives are ideal for grain storage. There are a few ways that producers can reduce the odds of spoilage, according to University of Kentucky experts.
Grain should always be properly dried and cooled. In addition, it should be aerated and adequately protected from pests, according to the experts. Alterative grain storage containers should be thoroughly cleaned before used.
Grain that has not been cleaned and may have broken kernels should be stored in low moisture areas. The optimal moisture content percentage for corn is 14 percent; it is 12 percent for soybeans stored through February.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s September crop report, U.S. corn crop is expected to reach 14.2 billion bushels. There is also a forecasted record of soybean production of 4.4 billion bushels.