Arkansas Grain Drying and Storage
Grain, i.e., rice, soybean, corn, grain sorghum, and wheat have their highest quality at harvest. In most cases, they do not dry to safe moisture levels naturally in the field, but they need artificial drying to achieve the target moisture level for safe storage. Maintaining their high quality, totally depends on the way that grains are handled during the drying and storage process. As a result, a good deal of Arkansas fresh grain require drying and storing on the farm each year to extend their storage life. These websites outlines the basics of on-farm grain drying and storage.
Increasing corn acres over the past several years has led to increasing interest in on-farm drying and storage. Corn quality is the highest at harvest, and producers should promptly dry newly harvested corn to safe moisture levels in order to maintain quality and marketability. Producers need to dry corn to 15.5% moisture content (MC) when corn is to be marketed immediately. Otherwise, corn needs to be dried to 12.0% MC if it is expected to be stored for several months. This web site will briefly discuss the fundamentals of on-farm corn drying, drying methods, fans, storage, grain handling safety, and corn drying costs.
Arkansas wheat growers often debate the subject of whether or not to dry and store wheat on the farm. Arguments against this are that on-farm wheat-drying costs may be higher than commercial drying costs particularly when the cost of electricity is high. However, arguments for on-farm wheat drying include creating a higher quality finished product. Growers realize that when wheat grain is re-wet in the field several times while awaiting field drying to dockage levels, the quality is compromised. Therefore, implementing on-farm drying of the freshly harvested wheat will produce higher quality grain. Growers who dry and store their wheat also gain more flexibility to manage their operations and timing of when to sell their wheat. Overall, on-farm drying and storage of wheat is becoming an appealing practice especially when the producer can use the drying and handling equipment in rotation with other grains such as rice. This web site will explore the basics of on-farm wheat drying and storage.