Because of lower corn prices farmers are likely to be storing a large portion of the crop on-farm into late spring or summer of next year.

Anytime growers decide to put corn into storage, especially when they plan to store it for several months, they need to manage the grain properly to keep it from spoiling, says a Purdue Extension grain handling specialist.

That includes drying it to a safer moisture level when it comes out of the field and then properly cleaning, loading, aerating and monitoring it.

"This will require adequately drying to 14 to 14.5 percent for long-term storage," Klein Ileleji said. "Think of grain in the bin as cash in the bank. Without good management, this 'cash' can go out of condition, quickly eroding your investment."

 

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Ileleji offered some tips for farmers to keep their grain in top shape:

• Sanitation: Growers need to remove all of the food sources and harboring spots for rodents and insects around their storage facilities. This includes cleaning up grain spills and mowing surrounding vegetation. It also means cleaning handling equipment, including augers, cleaners and dryers, at the end of each use.

• Loading: When grain is being loaded into a bin, farmers need to use loading methods that minimize broken kernels and fine material and remove foreign material. Leaving broken kernels, fines and foreign material can make stored grain more susceptible to insect infestation, mold and spoilage because it reduces initial grain quality and aeration efficiency.