You might have a high moisture grain headache lurking out in your fields. There might be solutions that help you avoid waiting in line at the elevator.
Smaller, single-module grain dryers can be delivered and installed on your farm in as short as a week.
“It’s something we built extra inventory on,” says Jarod Wendt, GSI product manager for storage and conditioning, talking about single-module, also known as portable, dryers. “We have dryers in stock so as long as fuel and electricity is there and it matches what is needed it’s straightforward to install.”
With the right infrastructure, Wendt says GSI can get a portable dryer installed in a week. Although speed in setup is an advantage, capacity is not as large as more traditional dryers—about 1180 bu. per hour for 5 percentage point removal. Wendt says to talk to a local dealer for specific prices.
“Some fears might be that co-ops or elevators might not have drying capacity for grain and once they’re full you won’t be able to bring grain to them anymore,” Wendt says. “So, dryers like this are for someone who has harvest bottlenecks at grain drying. Every year we see it regionally but this year it’s much more widespread.”
While some grain dryer manufacturers might have these smaller dryers available—or soon will—one expert recommends you look at the big picture before jumping on what could be a short-term solution.
Sukup Manufacturing also recommends you talk with local dealers because while manufacturing might not have a long wait, its dealers are very busy this time of year.
“For the most part, dryers aren’t shopped very often,” says Kerry Hartwig, Sukup dryer sales director. “It’s one- to three-decades before you upgrade dryers. And if that’s the case you need to find out what is the next dryer for your operation to last at least a decade. Make sure you work with a dealer that will provide good service.”
Maybe that’s a smaller, portable-type dryer, or maybe it means you wait longer to get a larger dryer that will meet your long-term needs. Hartwig says you should consider your long-term situation before picking a dryer—even if that means you have to find creative solutions in the short-term.
2019 Non-Dryer Options
If your grain is over 20% you can: work with a neighbor to rent their dryer or consider contacting elevators in your area to store your grain.
When grain is under 20%you might be able to use in-bin drying systems to reduce moisture content. Look for heaters and fans that fit the capacity you need but know that weather conditions will have a greater impact on drying ability than they would with a stand-alone dryer.
Finally, check on your grain in bins but be safe about it. Try to keep a zero-entry policy in bins—especially if the grain was a little moist when it went into the bin. It could lead to crusting and plugged removal equipment, both of which can turn dangerous if proper safety procedures are ignored.
“Be aware of what your grain quality is coming out the back of the dryer,” Hartwig says. “Guys like to push heat high to dry faster, but if you see lower quality, back those temps off to preserve quality.”