High Grain Temperatures Affect Storage

As I am writing this article the forecast highs for the next several days are in the upper 80s to mid 90s. Warmer air temperatures mean warmer grain temperatures. Hard Red Spring Wheat and Durum at 15% moisture and a grain temperature of 60 degrees F has an allowable storage time of 240 days. That easily gives a producer plenty of time to get it dried down with a good aeration system or to find a market without getting it dried.

Kick that grain temperature up to 80F when it goes in the bin and that allowable storage time drops to only 70 days. Move to a field that isn’t quite as mature or has a lot more low spots that are green, the air temperature is 95F and there are thunderstorms building in the west so you ignore the moisture meter on the combine reading 18% moisture and you might have grain spoilage within only 15 days if the grain temperature is 80F. Even fewer days if the grain is warmer than that.

Malting Barley is even more critical because germination can begin to drop before any other spoilage or heating begins to occur. 80F malting barley only has about 40 days of storage time at 15% moisture before it begins to have quality problems, and it drops to only 20 days at 16% moisture.