Wednesday, October 3, 2012

What Does An Air Bin Do for Corn?

Most of the steel grain bins in GriggsDakota are air bins. 
That means that there is a powerful electric fan attached to the bin that will force air through the contents of the bin. 
The size of the fan is commensurate with the size of the bin, allowing it to dry the contents by forcing air through it. One of two fans for the bin above is just behind the trailer parked by the bin. 
It is, I suppose, a bit like the air dry cycle on a clothes dryer without the spin. Air drives the moisture from the grain and out of the bin by blowing with an electric fan.
That allows us to harvest grain that is slightly too wet for safe long term storage and dry it without heating it as we would with a propane grain dryer. Some years it is necessary to Dry the Harvest which is more expensive, labor intensive, and time sensitive work. 
 During this hot dry year, we can bring the moisture percentage down to a safe storage level by using an air bin.
The dry Fall air is perfect to get the job done. Drawn into the bin by the fan attached to it, as long as it does not get too cold, the corn will dry.
The auger takes the corn on a ride to the bin.  
When the moisture is removed from the kernels, it reduces the weight slightly as the water leaves the corn. The ability of the kernels to germinate is unaffected by the air dry process. 
Samples are taken as we unload and will continue to be taken as the bin dries, until it reaches
 safe storage moisture of 14.5% 
Corn that can mature and dry down during our short crop season is relatively new. We are still surprised that the cobs, so carefully wrapped in husks by nature, can yield mature kernels that are dry enough to combine. It is a tribute to the diligent research and commitment of agriculture to produce food, fiber, and renewable energy. 
We have corn in the air bins of GriggsDakota.

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