February 27, 2018
By Jennifer Paige
With industry meetings and conferences in full swing across the country, many producers have taken the winter months to seek out information and networking opportunities. As I recently navigated my way through a number of sessions at the SouthWest Agricultural Conference (held in early January at the University of Guelph Ridgetown campus), the turnout painted an obvious picture.
The classrooms and auditoriums were filled to capacity – farmers were hungry for the latest information from industry experts.
The two-day event offered a packed agenda, touching on everything from seeding to marketing. In a conference presentation entitle, Drying and Storage Pitfalls, John Gnadke from Advanced Grain Systems Inc., explored best management practices for various drying and storage operations.
“There are special considerations associated with producing quality grains that growers should be prepared to manage. Careful and proper harvesting, drying, handling and storage of grain are necessary to ensure full grower rewards are realized,” Gnadke said. “A farmer drying grain in temperatures below 50 degrees (Fahrenheit) had six per cent cracked and broken kernels, resulting in discounts exceeding $50,000 for his total dried bushels. I was on-site the next year to help him reset his tower dryer so that corn exited at no less than 75 degrees F. The result was no discounts for cracked and broken kernels.”
With forty years’ experience working with multiple grain drying systems, Gnadke has spent many hours advising and educating producers, helping them enhance their grain management skills.
He recommends checking grain temperature by, “Placing a thermometer 12-inches deep in the grain at the top of the bin on drying bins, or positive aeration bins or attach it in front of the aeration fan on negative aeration bins. With the thermometer at these locations, it will read the highest temperature the grain is “feeling” and by comparing it to the average daily temperature you will know if you are within 10 F of outside air.”
How are you monitoring your stored grain, and what tools are you using? (Wireless, solar powered, mobile, handheld probes, manual monitoring?) In this month’s issue of Top Crop Manager, our special section is dedicated to storage with a look at the latest in grain bin monitoring tools. Check out what will be coming down the technology pipeline in 2018 on page 18.
The special storage-focused section also includes our cover story on page 16, Shining a light on problem fungi, which discusses a recent feasibility study that shows ultraviolet light reduces fungi and fungal toxins on corn and wheat kernels.
“The objective is to explore the feasibility of UV treatment as a postharvest intervention for reducing Fusarium and Penicillium growth at different points of [the cereal value chain] because we don’t know where exactly it can be applied yet,” explains Tatiana Koutchma, a research scientist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in Guelph, Ont.
As the industry continues to innovate and develop the tools you need to increase productivity and profit, you can be sure Top Crop Manager will be a part of it, providing you with the latest news, research and reports to aid in management decisions.