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Brice Elnicki
Brice Elnicki is vice president of KAMO GRAIN INC at 3708 North Free King Hwy in Pittsburg, KS. A graduate of the University of Arkansas, specializing in grain merchandising, he also serves on the KGFA legislative committee. Kamo Grain started as a small, family owned, country elevator in 1990, has now grown to serve producers and elevators all over the four state area with their grain marketing needs. For more information or to reach Brice call 620-232-5800.
2012-08-02 11:34:55
What is the best way to store grain?
A- Storing grain on the farm can be a great asset to producers; it can allow the producer to realize any upside in markets, limit storage cost that may be incurred at local elevators or terminals, as well as speed up harvest for some producers. With that said, keeping stored grain in condition should be the number one priority, possibly even more important than trying to capture market gains. The biggest mistake someone can make is to dump grain into a bin, and think that all is good, and walk away; they could have totally ruined the quality of grain, and now stand to lose several dollars per bushel. Grain almost always needs to be aerated and cooled. This is done by either roof fans that pull air out through the grain, and/or floor fans that push air thought the grain. For instance, if we plan on holding a bin of corn, wheat or soybeans, once the bin is full, we will use the center auger gate to “pull the center out” of the bin, which may consist of one load on a small bin to 3-5 loads on a 50,000 bushel bin or 15 loads on a bigger bin, depending on the bin diameter. What this does is brings the grain from a convex or peaked center, down to a concave or coned down center. Air flow seeks the path of least resistance, and pulling the center of a bin allows the air to flow through the center of the bin much easier, which will in turn dry and cool the grain far faster and more efficiently than if the center is left peaked. If the grain is wet, and not aerated and cooled, hot spots that are formed when wet grain ferments and molds, can heat up, turn to a darker color, lose quality and if left unattended in the right environmental conditions can combust and burn. Grain quality can be diminished quickly, as well as create an unsafe work environment, when grain isn’t stored correctly. The most important thing to remember is that grain needs to be kept cool and dry, and checked on regularly. When planning on storing grain for several months, the producer should really look into treating the grain with a grain conditioner/insecticide that will help inhibit infestation of bugs.
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