Grain drying, as used in this publication, refers to th […]
Grain drying, as used in this publication, refers to the removal of some of the moisture from grain by mechanically moving air through the grain after it has been harvested. Grain in the field dries naturally as the crop matures, giving up mois-ture to the air un-til the grain moisture is in equilibrium with the moisture in the air (equilibrium moisture content). Conditions become less favorable for grain to dry to moisture contents considered safe for storage as the harvest is delayed into late fall.
Grain drying has several advantages and disadvan-tages.
Increases quality of harvested grain by reducing crop exposure to weather.
Reduces harvesting losses, including head shat-tering and cracked kernels.
Reduces dependency on weather conditions for harvest.
Allows use of straight combining for small grains.
Reduces size and/or number of combines and other harvest-related equipment and labor re-quired due to extending harvest time.
Allows more time for post-harvest field work.
Original investment for drying equipment and an-nual cost of ownership.
Operating costs for fuel, electricity and labor.
Extra grain handling required may result in further investment for equipment.