Fossil fuel prices were near historical highs in September and October, while grain prices were dropping rapidly. This put producers in a squeeze between declining grain prices and high drying costs. Many producers with on-farm grain drying capabilities decided not to pay the high prices for propane or natural gas to heat the air stream and reduce drying time. Instead they decided to use natural (unheated) air to dry their corn.

Ambient air properties (temperature and humidity) often were not conducive to drying grain, and many producers were still running their fans in late November and into December when the air temperature was well below freezing. Going into winter with a grain temperature between 30