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Discussion Starter #1
Looks like I am going to have a bunch of tough wheat that I will try and natural air dry next spring. Just looking for advice from those who have experience with this on what works and what does not work. Don't want to have a wreck. My wheat is 15.5-16.5% moisture and my barley is 15.8-16.8% moisture. Luckily my Canola is dry.

I assume that I want to freeze the grain and then once a month or so refreeze it over the winter. Do I have to seal the roof vents and fan intake to prevent the warmer early spring weather or chinook weather from spoiling the grain? Are there condensation issues to watch out for first thing in the spring with that cold grain and warmer outside air? Is running the fan enough, or does the grain need to be turned once in a while?

Do I need to slowly warm the grain up with the fans as the days get nicer in late March or April or do I leave it sit as a cold frozen bin until the days are nice enough to dry? How do you tell when to start the fans in the spring? I assume that I wait till mid May, about the time that the fields are nicely dried out enough to seed, but perhaps that is too late. I will need to use a generator to run the fans as my power service is too small to run all the bins that I need to dry. Don't really want to run my generator for any longer than necessary.

Do I try and dry it so that the top grain in the bin gets dry or just till the bin averages dry? I am thinking of booking June sales for this grain, so not sure if it can be hauled straight from the bin to the elevator if if it normally has to be dumped into another bin to get mixed evenly?

I am lucky enough to have about 1/2 of my crop dry and will be able to haul and sell that over the winter. Normally sell the last 1/3 in the June time frame anyway and thinking that air drying in the spring will be easier than using a fan and added heat this time of year. But not sure how risky it is storing tough grain all winter and drying it next year. I live east of Calgary.
 

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Guess if your not moving your canola until Spring would freeze it as well. You should have no issues with those range of moistures on barley/wheat. You do not have to refreeze unless you get extended period of warm weather in Winter. If you have mois/temp cables you can see what your grain doing at different levels and you know what to do - how long to run fans, etc. You do not have to monkey around with roof vents or intake, however, if you choose to mkt your grain earlier than June you should have lots of weather pre-mid-may where you could be airdrying - you could have lots of those days in mid March - or not.

I believe you said before you had 5000b hoppers? If all grain in this size do not see why you would have to turn it, but again moist/temp cables tell you that so much easier. In fact, if you do not have these not sure how you know what you have until you pull out a load unless you like climbing up 40' in air with probe long enough to collect sample. If you selling your grain in volume you should be able to avg your moisture as you haul - first load out of bin will always be the toughest if it all the same moisture to begin with. No use starting to fun fans, warm up grain prior to decent leadtime to your sales as you may just get an education on rusty grain beetles.

It sounds to me like you are very lucky.
 

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The one year we did it with 17-18% wheat we kept it cool through the winter. We did not try dry it till we had at least a 4- 5 day window of 10-15 degree outside temperature during the day in the spring. We did not seal off anything. The time you really have to watch it is in the spring. If you get a couple day warm up and do not go for it you will have to cool it in the evening in the cooler evenings. It kept fine over winter for us. When freezing the grain we have someone go on top of the bin before we turn the fans off to make sure the air is ice cold leaving the grain before we stop trying to cool it.
 

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had 30,000 bush of 18 percent wheat in 3 flat bottom bins a few years ago couldn't get any weather to air dry in fall cooled it down with fans then ran for few days when was - 25 to -30 nights left till spring and ran fans for a week or more while seeding as Brazil said first loads were still 16-17 middle and bottom were dry or to dry but averaged perfect
 

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Check out Amber Ag. A company that is just starting up. They have simple system that has temp and humidity sensors along with cloud service for controlling fans. Fairly affordable system compared to others and much more afordable than loosing a bin of grain. They are in beta stage now, not selling products. They should be close to selling stuff. Advice would similar to others from me.
 

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You ask the age-old questions we would all love to know. After 20 years of bin drying/conditioning, I have only learned that if you don't turn it or monitor it somehow with moisture/temp cables/probes you are never sure what you have. I end up running fans longer than I needed to. These bins are so high that it's not realistic to take a pail and probe to the top like the good ol days. Since I have had moisture/temp cables installed, I see that the air temp at the top empty area goes sky high when the sun shines and the sunny side of the bin can get very hot to the touch in the sun as well. I like to start the fans every so often and put some air through. You should be ok with those moistures. Good Luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I have temperature cables in all bins, but no moisture cables. Bins are a real mix of 5000 and 10000 bushel flat bottoms with helfer rocket ducts and full floor aeration as well as 21' and 24' wide hopper bins. Temperature cables are in the center of the bin and may not pick up spoilage if it occurs at the the top of the inside wall. I put diatamaceous earth in the top of each bin due to previous rusty grain beetle issues.

My concern was having the grain spoil in the spring when the weather warms up and the sun beats on the bin. I am sure that the grain elevators will pencil blend the moistures out. Feedlots may not be quite so agreeable.

Grain is all cold now. Yes, I am very lucky to have some dry grain and the tough stuff is only 2-3% above dry.
 

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I have yet to find a feedlot that will paper blend moisture, and blending in the truck is hit or miss, since every feedlot takes the sample differently, handful off the top, actual probe, random handful while unloading, first handful while unloading, and the entire load ends up being represented by the one handful.

Some feedlots add water before they roll grain, so if you ask in advance, might find someone willing to take it as is, just adjust the weight for the excess moisture. Local elevator can usually take high moisture grain at that time of year without penalties if they have lots of over dry to blend it with.

Dropping only 2 or 3 points won't cause any issues with condensation or grain sticking, or needing to turn the bins.

I'm always paranoid about what is happening inside the south facing wall when the weather warms up. Almost would be worthwhile having another temp cable about a foot in from the south wall just for that reason. The core of a big bin will stay cold all summer, but the drastic temperature difference along the walls could create problems. I've tried a temperature gun aiming at the walls early morning before the sun hits the bin.
 
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