10-Day Warm Up Ahead: Are Your Bins Ready?

Grain Bins

Harvest moistures were higher than usual this fall. The warm-up in the 10-day forecast means on-farm stored grain could begin to heat up, especially around the outside and peak. Here are some storage recommendations from Dr. Charles Hurburgh, ISU Extension Grain Quality Specialist. 

  • If you put wet corn in the bin and you got it cold right away, you saved yourself some time.
    • However, with dew points above 30 in the forecast, we could be facing issues with stored wet corn. 
  • The sunshine this weekend will warm up bin-stored grain.
  • We need to be checking bins once a week because that’s how quickly conditions can change.
  • If your wet corn begins to heat up, agitate and once dewpoints drop, get air moving on it to get it frozen. Something as simple as the fan you’d use on your dry corn can assist.
  • If you did NOT get it cold right away, you should look for the next cold spell (dewpoint below 20) and get it frozen. Be careful not to let wet stored corn freeze in chunks. Use your stir-ator, let a little out of the bin, etc.
  • For those who might have been tight on propane in recent weeks, now is the time to fire up the dryers. It may be a hassle to move high moisture corn, but we do not want to wait until Spring to dry it if we want to control quality.

Kcci 10 day forecast


1. Keep children out of grain bins, beds and wagons at all times. Grain flow can cover them before anyone realizes what is happening.

2. Lock out the control circuit before entering a bin, whether or not grain is flowing. Be especially careful around automatic unloading equipment.

3. Have three people involved when you enter a grain bin, and enter with a rope and safety harness. In the case of an accident, it will take two people to lift you out using the equipment.

4. Don’t count on someone outside the bin to hear your shouted instructions. Equipment noise may block out your calls for help.

5. If you become trapped in a bin of flowing grain with nothing to hold onto but you are still able to walk, stay near the outside wall. Keep walking until the bin is empty or grain flow stops. If you are covered by flowing grain, cup your hands over your mouth, and take short breaths until help arrives.

6. If another person becomes submerged in grain, assume he is alive and begin rescue operations immediately. Turn on the fan to move air into the bin. Cut large holes around the bin, approximately 5 ft. up from the base, to empty grain. (If you cut too many holes, the bin may collapse on you.) Use the front-end loader of a tractor, an abrasive saw or an air chisel. A cutting torch is a last resort – it could cause a fire or an explosion from dust and fumigant residue.

7. Never attempt a rescue by going into the grain yourself. Call 911. Your local emergency team has the training and equipment to do the job safely.