Charles Hurburgh, Iowa State University professor-in-charge of the Iowa Grain Quality Initiative, lays out alternative grain storage options for those impacted by the derecho.

“Farmers who lost storage bins could use a silo bag for dry, not wet corn. It’s possible for producers to make temporary grain storage piles in machine sheds,” Hurburgh says. “Commercial facilities who lost storage have a couple choices: Move it to a location that didn’t experience a loss or to temporary storage, from a pile outside to a banker.”

Dr. Dirk Maier, Iowa State University professor of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, further speaks to storage bags, more commonly known as grain bags. The “proven technology” is a “cost effective, temporary solution,” in his mind.

“The biggest advantage with bags is they can be laid out and filled almost anywhere you have a level surface,” Maier says. “They are available and relatively inexpensive on a per bushel basis. They’re not hermetically sealed, but they seal well. Once the grain is in there, there’s a carbon dioxide atmosphere that establishes and essentially helps preserve the grain, provided that the grain is not too high of a moisture content.”

Farmers typically harvest soybeans with a low moisture content, making it easier to store in grain bags without concern of being damaged after long-term storage, according to Maier. Storing corn, however, can be a bit more challenging.

“If we end up with a moisture content that would require drying, or aeration to shrink grain down to a storage moisture content, that would be a limitation of where you can put the bags up,” Maier says. “In other words, I’d have to run corn through the dryer and bring the moisture content down below 15-percent before I put them in bags.”

Story courtesy of the Iowa Agribusiness Radio Network.