Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Bin Cleaning

Above: The bins are empty and we are preparing for harvest. Bin cleaning rises to the top of the "to do" list. The stale smell of grain in a poorly ventilated, hot metal bin makes bin cleaning a chore that the guys tend to put off as long as possible. Now is the time.
Our Case IH lawn tractor pulls the yard cart that is ideal for hauling the grain they find. It is taken to feed livestock or to CRP ground for wild animals, depending on the quality of the product.

Above: Yes, Joe is wearing a stocking cap and jacket in July. We have had below normal temperatures this summer and many cool mornings. This is the best time to clean the bins. He is demonstrating how to properly shovel the grain, using his legs and not bending his back as he scoops.

Above: Rob uses a broom to remove grain that Joe can't get with a shovel. The tubes on the floor of the bin circulate air to dry and cool the grain for safe storage.
We have over 40 bins to clean each year, which takes about 60 hours, or an hour and a half for each bin. While harvesting, we work hard to bring in a clean, top quality crop. The bin we store it in must be free of contamination. The bin that stored last year's wheat may store seed soybeans this season. When selling our grain, insect infestation, mold and disease lowers the price we get paid. Properly cleaning helps reduces the chance of poor grain at the time of sale.
I found an interesting article on NDSU's agriculture website the discusses how to best clean your bin to prevent insect invasion.

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