Proper management of low-temperature grain drying equipment can reduce the energy consumed on the farm during and after corn harvest. A new publication from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach explains the management techniques and equipment needs for low-temperature grain drying.
"Energy Considerations for Low-temperature Grain Drying" (PM 2089U) is available to download from the Extension Online Store, https://store.extension.iastate.edu/.
"Low-temperature or natural-air drying typically requires less energy but also more time than high-temperature grain drying" says Mark Hanna, ISU Extension agricultural engineer. "It is important to understand the process and determine if it may be a good fit for your operation given the right conditions."
Using low-temperature grain drying techniques reduce fuel bills for drying
This publication gives an overview of techniques and equipment for low-temperature grain drying, including bin size, airflow requirements and grain moisture content. Compared to high-temperature grain drying, low-temperature drying may span weeks or months of time. Management considerations are different for each drying method, but when conditions allow, implementing low-temperature drying techniques can help growers reduce fuel bills for grain drying.
"If your facilities include shorter bins with full perforated drying floors, low-temperature drying can reduce grain handling requirements and total energy consumption during harvest," adds Shawn Shouse, another ISU Extension ag engineer. "Consider how to manage your existing drying facilities to reduce energy use and maintain grain quality."
More tips on how to save energy and money in your farming operation
For more tips on energy efficiency around the farmstead, visit http://farmenergy.exnet.iastate.edu or follow @ISU_Farm_Energy on Twitter.
The Farm Energy publications are part of a series of farm energy conservation and efficiency educational materials being developed through the ISU Farm Energy Initiative. Purpose is to increase farmers' awareness of opportunities for improving efficient use of farm energy. The initiative also will help farmers and utility providers to explore opportunities to reduce farm energy demand and to improve overall profitability in a rapidly changing energy environment.
In other ISU news released last week, It was announced that the 2012 Excellence in Innovation Award was presented to Hagie Manufacturing of Clarion, Iowa, by the National Institute of Standards and Technology Manufacturing Extension Partnership. The award was presented May 8. Iowa State University Extension and the ISU Center for Industrial Research and Service nominated the company for the award.