It can be tempting to think of the season as complete after the combines are done rolling, but post-harvest grain management is almost as important as harvest itself. Proper grain drying, cooling and storage will all help to preserve and protect return on investment.
Here are a couple of key considerations:
- Make sure grain is completely dried to an appropriate moisture level: Regardless of whether you air dry or use a dryer, it’s crucial to dry grain quickly and thoroughly to prevent mold development. Dryer temperatures can vary, so it’s important to monitor moisture levels to help ensure that grain dries evenly. Wet corn above 15.5% moisture stored in a grain bin without aeration can lead to molding or hot spots within the bin if not monitored periodically.
- Closely monitor grain temperature: This is key for maintaining grain quality. Once stored, check grain at least every 2 weeks, aerating every so often to match grain and air temperatures. Lower grain temperature gradually in the fall, and keep it cold in the spring.
Improper drying and/or storage can lead to the development of mycotoxins such as aflatoxin that can ultimately decrease the quality and shelf life of grain.
Contact a local NK® retailer to learn more about grain storage and post-harvest management.
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