GFM Network News


Stored grain has to be both cool and dry to minimize the risk of spoilage.

Drying grain may become the norm as harvests trend later

Natural air drying with supplemental heat hasn’t caught on in Alberta yet, but it soon could, says expert


Prairie farmers may need to get used to leaving grain in the field at harvest. “Harvest might be starting earlier, but poor weather during the harvest season is slowing down that last little bit of harvest, and there’s more and more crop being left in the field in October,” said Joy Agnew, program manager at

With crops coming off the field, many farmers are switching on the aeration fans, but what are the best practices 
for natural air drying?

What’s the word on night-only aeration?

Research urges farmers to go nocturnal when it comes to aeration and natural drying

Experts are still divided when it comes to night-only natural air drying. Dr. Ron Palmer, project engineer with the Indian Head Agricultural Research Foundation, made waves in 2015, when he suggested that grain would dry better at night when air temperature outside was less than grain temperature. The idea flew in the face of conventional


Tech targets ideal aeration through bin-specific data

Farmers can access the free online calculator to hone in on ideal drying conditions, 
while an experimental algorithm looks to automate the practice

New technology out of Saskatchewan hopes to nail down the ideal time for aeration and automate fan operation. Ron Palmer, of the Indian Head Agricultural Research Foundation, has released two projects, a bin-specific online calculator to determine if air conditions are right for drying and new software that monitors air going in and leaving the

Manitoba farmers with crop still in the field have now experienced both ends of the moisture spectrum in a single season.

Formerly parched grain now fighting moisture after September rains

2017 will be remembered as a dry year, but the latest harvest is still fighting high moisture 
after a series of rains in September

Manitoba’s early harvest was dry, but now a rash of rains has left producers fighting moisture and wondering when to give up on drying in the field. Francois Labelle, general manager for the Manitoba Pulse and Soybean Growers, said most grain being harvested is several percentage points above safe storage since the dry spell broke.

It’s a crucial window to ensure soybean harvest quality as the crop comes off and goes into the bin.

Avoid soybean loss during harvest, drying and storage

Shattered beans can badly affect the profitability of your crop

Harvest timing can have a huge impact on soybean shatter losses, according to North Dakota State University Extension Service agricultural engineer Ken Hellevang. “Field losses, splits and cracked seed coats increase as moisture content decreases,” he says. “Shatter losses have been shown to increase significantly when seed moisture falls below 11 per cent or when


Damp, tough canola at risk for spoilage

Some Prairie canola growers may now be able to get back to their unharvested canola, but the Canola Council of Canada warns that tough or damp canola can still be volatile, even at cooler outdoor temperatures. The Saskatchewan agriculture ministry on Wednesday reported “a few” growers in the province’s southeast were out harvesting canola last

Don’t gamble by not aerating your canola

Uneven maturity means there’s more green seed this year, and that ups the risk of spoilage


You can lose a lot of money in a hurry, so watch for potential canola storage problems as fall transitions into early winter, says an Alberta provincial crop specialist. “Canola seed’s high oil content makes it very susceptible to deterioration in storage,” said Neil Whatley. “Safe, long-term canola storage is at or below eight per

As the temperatures fall, the chance of spoilage goes up if you’re not keeping a close eye on canola in the bin.

Don’t gamble by not aerating your canola

Uneven maturity means there’s more green seed this year, and that ups the risk of spoilage

You can lose a lot of money in a hurry, so watch for potential canola storage problems as fall transitions into early winter, says a provincial crop specialist. “Canola seed’s high oil content makes it very susceptible to deterioration in storage,” said Neil Whatley. “Safe, long-term canola storage is at or below eight per cent


Consider pros, cons of alternative grain storage methods

Grain should be dry and cool when placed in alternative storage facilities

Bumper crops and transportation delays have created a need for additional temporary storage on many farms. Here are some things farmers should consider about the various options. “Grain can be stored in many types of facilities,” North Dakota State University Extension Service agricultural engineer Ken Hellevang says. “But all storage options should keep the grain

Bigger bins make for bigger challenges for maintaining condition.

Grain-drying systems: larger bins, more grain, more air

Natural air drying needs 10 times the airflow rate compared to aeration

The yields are getting larger, the machinery bigger. It stands to reason that grain storage bins have had to get bigger as well. Smaller bins and their effective grain-drying systems in place for years are being replaced by larger bins and more intricate drying needs to handle the larger contents. “There are larger bins in