Posted 20 October 2008. Crop Management.
Tips for Saving Money Drying Grain
University of Wisconsin-Madison. www.cals.wisc.edu
Madison, Wisconsin (October 10, 2008)--You have enough invested in your crops this season without throwing away money on grain drying. The following tips on minimizing drying expenses during harvest and storage are offered by Scott Sanford, senior outreach specialist in the UW-Madison Department of Biological Systems Engineering.
• Avoid drying. Store high moisture grain if you plan to feed it to animals before April.
• Delay harvest to allow corn to dry in the field.
• Tune up your drying system. Clean, check and calibrate all components.
• Don’t over-dry – it wastes energy and reduces dryer capacity.
• Calibrate your grain moisture meter. Meter errors cause under- or over-drying.
• Clean grain to remove fines before drying. There’s no need to dry unneeded materials.
• Convert to full-heat drying and use in-bin cooling (dryeration). The former cuts energy use by 15 percent, the latter by 25 percent.
• If your grain bins have full-perforated floors and aeration, convert to combination drying. Dry to 20 percent with the high-temperature dryer and finish with ambient air/ low temperature drying. You could save 40-50 percent.
• Add a stirring device to bin dryers to save 20-30 percent in drying costs.
• Choose a high-efficiency dryer when buying new.
• Update the controller on your current dryer to increase efficiency.Sanford’s energy efficiency website (www.uwex.edu) offers details about implementing these tips. Another good source is Wisconsin Focus on Energy (www.focusonenergy.com or 800-762-7077). Those sites also have links about energy efficiency grants.