WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — As farmers begin to prepare and gear up for planting season, it also is important that they are making sure to keep up maintenance on and around their grain bins to help reduce the likelihood of a grain bin accident happening.

“There is a lot of grain still in storage because prices are low, so farmers are hanging on to it,” said Bill Field, who serves as the National AgrAbility Project director and also is an agricultural and biological engineering professor at Purdue University.

Field said the longer that an individual stores grain, the more likely it is to have a condition problem.

“Out of condition grain is the No. 1, single-biggest factors leading to grain entrapment issues,” Field said.

Field said that when grain is stored for a long period of time, moisture builds up, which causes lots of condition issues to occur, including crusting and molding of stored grain.

“When grain is crusted or stuck together, farmers try to get in there to get it to flow better, so it cascades down,” Field said.

To help avoid these issues from happening, Field said it is important to make sure that grain is stored at the right moisture and that it is kept clean and dry while it is stored.

Field said that when farmers are putting grain in the bins to store it, they need to make sure its moisture content is not above 14%.

He also added that farmers should make sure to check door latches and seals to make sure they are tight and no moisture can leak through and cause damage to the grain.

Field said that when a grain bin is empty, farmers should clean and sanitize it to kill off any insects that might have been living in the bin.

For more information or to learn more information about the importance of grain bin safety, visit https://extension.entm.purdue.edu/grainsafety/index.php.

Ashley Langreck can be reached at 800-426-9438, ext. 192, or alangreck@agrinews-pubs.com. Follow her on Twitter at: @AgNews_Langreck.

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