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Implement Alley Discussion Forum

Re: While we are on the subject of grain bins....

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AG in IN

10-23-2013 12:06:30

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Dave H (MI) said: (quoted from post at 18:38:21 10/23/13) That about hits the nail on the head, thanks! This is what I am trying to get done without knowing all the ins and outs of how to do it. I take it off the field shelled as dry as I can possibly get it. Put what I need in a bin and send the rest a few miles away to the elevator. So a bin similar to what I am looking at now (5K bushel, drying floor) is good but it needs (if I am understanding you) an external fan/dryer unit and a stir-ator to move the grain so it drys evenly...yes?

There's about a thousand options available to you, new or used. All setups have their pros/cons. This is just one option, but it should work.
A few thoughts to ponder if you choose to go with a bin and bin dryer:

If the dryer, perforated floor, and the stir-rator are with the bin, and they work, they are assets even if you don't think you need them today. If they don't work, they're worthless and can be in the way until functional. You can still use another drying setup if they are present, you have to if they aren't.
If you end up selling some or all of it, most buyers/elevators will dock you on corn for anything above 15 or 15.5% moisture and burn you on test weights below 56 lb./bu.. Below their moisture dock level costs you money, too. Any heat/temperature to the sample will usually cost you, too. Generally, we try to run the bin dryer at 120-140 degrees, usually around 125. It's slow, but our test weights are usually 2 lbs. better than the neighbor who cooks his (I think 185 degrees and up) in a continuous flow dryer. If you don't have a reason for corn to be over 15%, get it down to that or a bit lower and get it cold for long-term storage.
You can overfill a bin with a bin dryer too quickly when corn is really wet (usually 30%+). Stir-rators can try to take a "track" through the grain and uneven drying can occur.
When you empty the bin, hand clean it down to the perforated floor with a pushbroom. Buildup of fines can interfere with drying.
Cover the loading auger when drying and temp.'s are expected to be near freezing or below. If not, your auger can and will freeze up. A simple plastic bucket and a tarp strap to hold it over the spout will do the trick.

Stir-rators (I think that's a trade name from one mfr.) can be finnicky. There's usually mercury switches that can require adjustment, and some regular maintenance--belts, track drive, screws, pulleys/rollers, motors, etc..
A spreader at the top of the bin when dumping is very helpful and almost a necessity with a bin dryer. You don't leave a pile in the middle, you sperad it out evenly(hopefully if set properly and loading auger/spout is centered as well).

Shivvers has some interesting drying accessories too.
Like other old farm equipment, know where your parts availability is, or if it exists at all before you own it. Know where you can go for service if you can't fix it yourself. Some older bins have different widths of ribs, and different heights of bin sheets, which may make a repair or door retrofit difficult if necessary.
This post was edited by AG in IN at 12:25:33 10/23/13.

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