Staying on Top of Your Stored Corn
By Helmut Spieser, OMAF Ridgetown

Problems Caused by Fines

Damage due to harvest, drying and handling of the 2003 corn crop has resulted in an unusually high percentage of fines in portions of the crop. Fines in storage cause problems every year, not just this year. Grain spreaders do not ensure uniform distribution of fines across the whole bin. The highest concentration of fines tends to be in the centre of the bin. Excess fines will result in airflow restrictions in the corn. Air will go around pockets of fines and follow the easier route through the grain. This may result is spoilage of these pockets of fines. Stored-grain insects are less likely to be a problem if the fines are removed prior to storage. Insects like Indian Meal Moths and some others, feed on broken kernels. Moulds grow faster on broken kernels. Some concerns persist about the integrity of stored corn this season.

Aeration in Storage

Aerate your bins thoroughly to ensure that the whole grain mass is at the same temperature. The grain mass temperature should be within 5C of the average outside air temperature. Any more temperature spread than this can result in uncontrolled convective air movement in the corn mass that can result in spoilage.

Things to check in the bin:

  1. Turn on the fan. Check for off-odours.
  2. Look for moisture on the underside of the roof. This is a sign of air movement in the bin.
  3. Visually inspect the grain.
  4. Check the static pressure of the aeration fan while operating. An increase in static pressure indicates that something has changed in the grain mass.
  5. Check the moisture content of the corn.
  6. Check the temperature of the air coming through the corn. It should be close to the actual corn temperature.

If you suspect problems:

Airflow Rate
Winter Cooling

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