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Farm Safety Focus

Keep your stored grain in condition to avoid potential safety issues.

2014 brought a plentiful grain harvest. While a boon for farmers, the flip side of that is that market conditions have led many producers to store more grain. It is particularly important to monitor the condition of all stored grain since out of condition corn can lead to various safety issues, including entrapment and engulfments. Grain in good condition when stored may develop problems over the winter. When checking grain:

  • Sample bins from the top and bottom for moisture content to determine the general condition of the grain.
  • Look for signs for moisture (like crusting or wet, slimy grain).
  • Be aware of the grain’s odor; a fermented or sour odor can indicate a problem.
  • Use a long, slender rod to pinpoint problems such as hard or moist areas.
  • Record grain temperature; a rise of 3-4 degrees can indicate a problem.

Weekly bin checks can help identify problems before they become unmanageable.

Source: Iowa State University – Extension
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