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Calculate Your Grain-Drying Costs Online

September 23, 2010
By: Sara Schafer, Farm Journal Media Business and Crops Editor

You can now determine where you can reduce energy costs in your grain drying systems, thanks to a new online calculator provide by Purdue University. The Purdue Energy Estimator estimates energy costs for in-bin and high-capacity grain dryers.

Farmers simply input their drying system information, location, grain type, fuel type and other bin information. 

Then, the estimator provides its results: fuel, electric and grain shrinking costs per bushel; drying time in days; average moisture content; MBTUs required for drying; and BTUs per pound of water. Additional data fields appear for high-capacity dryers.


The calculators can be used to determine costs for several different crops, depending on the type of drying system.

While farmers usually know what they are spending to dry grain, they don't always understand how dryer components and operating conditions contribute to the energy bill, says Klein Ileleji, one of the Purdue agricultural engineers who developed the calculator, in a news release.

"This tool enables them to do that, or at least gives them an avenue to look at grain drying systems more closely," Ileleji says. "With this estimator, they can run scenarios that will inform them ahead of time how much energy they are consuming on the farm and the factors that can help them reduce those costs."

About 30 years of weather data was entered into the estimator to provide more accurate drying cost results. The online resource was developed by researchers in Purdue's Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering.


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