Dirk Maier
HELPFUL GUIDE: “If you are thinking about upgrading your current grain drying, handling or storage system, or building new, this publication discusses what you need to know,” says author Dirk Maier.

Handbook on grain drying available

Popular handbook on grain drying, handling and storage ready for download.

MidWest Plan Service’s award-winning publication, “Grain Drying, Handling and Storage Handbook,” MWPS-13, is now available for download through the MidWest Plan Service website. The publication had previously only been available as a printed hard copy.

The book provides information on the why’s and how’s of developing a total system for grain drying, handling and storage. It discusses how the design and location of a grain system can help avoid bottlenecks during harvest, and how grain handling components can be tied to performance, capacity and convenience.

It also includes information on the function and operation of equipment used for holding wet grain, maintaining grain quality after harvest, handling large volumes of grain, and the need and importance of safety and automation.

The publication was written by Dirk Maier, professor of ag and biosystems engineering at Iowa State University, along with experts from the other MidWest Plan Service university partners.

“This handbook is in its third edition and has always been a collaborative project between engineers from several universities leading this field,” Maier says. “Our handbook has more than 150 pages packed with expert advice on how to plan a modern grain drying, handling and storage system.”

The downloadable format is available for purchase through the MidWest Plan Service website for $56, while printed copies can still be purchased for $74. The publication recently received the Blue Ribbon Award from the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers.

MidWest Plan Service is a university-based publishing cooperative dedicated to disseminating research-based, peer-reviewed and unbiased publications that support the outreach missions of the North Central Region land-grant universities. Established in 1929 and publishing since 1932, it is one of the oldest regional efforts of the land-grant universities.

Chapters on safety, automation
This newest edition of the handbook was released a year ago in printed form, as Maier and colleagues updated the publication for the first time since 1987. “This third edition reflects how grain drying and storage has changed significantly as the capacity of equipment used and the amount of handling and storage taking place on farms has increased,” Maier says.

In addition to farmers, the book is useful to grain elevator managers, equipment dealers, students and anyone interested in planning, adding or operating grain systems. It has two new chapters dealing with safety and automation, which comes with today’s handling and storage facilities that are faster and larger.

The chapter on safety explains what the dangers are and how to avoid injuries when working with grain handling and storage equipment. The chapter on automation explains the new technology available for better monitoring of stored grain, and for aerating grain and controlling drying systems remotely. Sensors can monitor and warn you about bearings heating up. All this information can be displayed on a smartphone, tablet or computer.

The guide can help farmers thinking of upgrading their grain handling and storage, or building a facility by educating themselves before meeting with a design team.

“By consulting a reference like this, farmers who are considering expanding can get background information to have an informed conversation with whoever they are dealing with in laying out a system without locking themselves into something they don’t want from the beginning,” Maier says. “You may get multiple bids and you want to be able to compare those bids. That’s the kind of information you can gain from this handbook.”

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