When was the last time you climbed up to check on your grain inventory?  With these cold, snowy days and brisk winds, there might be a good chance that you have snow sitting on top of your grain.  The good news is with this cold weather, it is likely still sitting there as snow.   If there is a light dusting, run the aeration fan, but if you have large amounts of snow, remove it with a shovel.

If you have no snow, I would still recommend the following:

  • Look for signs of moisture on the underside of the roof.  If water droplets or ice are present, aerating the bin is a must. 
  • Check for off odours when aeration fans are on.   The vented air should smell like clean grain.
  • Does the grain look the same as it did in earlier visits? Or is it dull & off colour?
  • Look for any signs of insect activity – hint: in colder months, the bugs will be inactive. Collect a sample and warm it up in the shop.  Any bugs will begin to move around once warm.
  • If you are taking temperature readings, record your findings into a log book to allow for comparisons between other visits.

An item that I have seen a few individuals miss this year is to core the bin or level the peak, as this will help maximize air movement.  Air travels the path of least resistance and will exit the grain through the lowest edges of the peaked grain, leaving the center of the peak not aerated.

Monthly checks on your grain will help to maximize the value of your inventory.

Kirk Van Will, CCA-ON, Maizex Seeds Yield Specialist, West Middlesex & Lambton Counties
Twitter: @KirkVanWill