Farmers have more on-farm grain storage capacity than ever before, and Extension experts like Marilyn Thelan have some best practices ready to share.

“After a successful harvest, the next step with on-farm grain storage is to keep the grain in good condition until it is shipped,” says the Michigan State University agriculture systems educator.

Here are five tips Thelan hopes farmers will keep in mind as big portions of this year’s harvest heads to the grain bin.

  1. As a general rule of thumb, grain that is clean, dry and contains minimal foreign material stored in a weatherproof, aerated structure will store well.
  2. Corn moisture in aerated storage should not exceed 15% if stored for up to six months, and 13% for storage periods longer than six months.
  3. Soybean moisture should not exceed 13% if stored for up to six months, and 11% for storage periods longer than six months.
  4. As temperatures drop this fall, aerate grain to lower grain temperatures below 50° F.
  5. Monitor grain each week until December and every two weeks afterwards.

“Attention to details will ensure the grain comes out of storage in good condition,” Thelan says.