Hot Grain In The Bins

November 7th 2011

This harvest was a warm one. Warm harvests means that grain went into the bins hot. Some grain went into the bin at over thirty degrees Celsius. This temperature means that the grain has potential to heat. All bins need to be checked now. With warm grain being placed in the bin in the fall, air will move in a bin. The bigger the bin, the more air movement there will be. The air will move until the temperature in the bin becomes stable. The greater the difference in temperature from the outside air to the grain in the bin, the more the air has to circulate in the bin to cool the temperature down. The thirty degree grain is now quite a bit warmer than the outside air. The most likely place for the moisture to build up from this air movement in the bin is in the cone at the top of the grain pile. The reason for this is the movement of air in the bin. Cold air on the outside of the bin cools the grain inside to a lower temperature than the rest of the bin. Cold air falls on the outside of the bin and rises through the center of the bin. As the air warms up going through the grain, it picks up moisture. This moisture is deposited in the cone at the top of the bin. The grain must be checked in the fall. The most likely place for grain to be heating is in the middle of the cone at the top of the bin. This is the best area to check for heated grain. The best way to check temperatures of grain in the bin is with temperature monitoring equipment in the bin. If you don’t have access to this equipment, sticking a rod in the bin will allow the bin temperature to be checked. If the grain is warm, the grain in the bin should be moved. Generally, taking the middle cone out of a bin will be enough to bring the temperature of the grain down and ensure safe storage. The center of the bin will be the warmest grain, so the warm grain will be in the truck when the cone is removed from the center of the bin. If you can leave the grain in the truck overnight, the warm grain will cool down in the truck box. This cooler grain will help with storage when it is returned to the bin. For this cooling to be effective, the temperatures should be less than 15 degrees Celsius. All stored grain should be checked. This is the time of year to do it. With the change in temperature that we are seeing at this time of year, the time is right to move some grain around.