grain bins
LONG-TERM STORAGE: If you're storing soybeans harvested at over 13% moisture, you'll want to dry them to 13% for long-term storage. The amount of time to dry soybeans depends on several variables.

Considerations for natural air drying of binned soybeans

The amount of time it takes to dry soybeans depends on a number of variables, including air temperature and humidity and airflow through the bin.

By Paul Jasa

Editor's note: This article, originally written by former Nebraska Extension educator Tom Dorn, has been reviewed and updated by Jasa.

If you're looking at storing soybeans harvested at over 13% moisture, you'll want to dry them to 13%, the recommended level for longer-term storage.

The time to dry soybeans, or any grain, depends on a number of variables:

 initial moisture content, %

 desired moisture content, %

 average ambient air properties — temperature and relative humidity

 airflow through the bin — cubic feet per minute per bushel

 whether the incoming air is heated

A grain drying program was used to estimate the time it would take to dry soybeans (see Table 1). It estimated the days to dry soybeans in a grain bin using natural air and 1 cubic foot per minute per bushel of grain in the bin. When drying in the bin, avoid using the stirator, as it can damage soybeans.


*The temperatures indicated — 40, 50 and 60 degrees F — are the average of the high and low for the day.
** Drying time is proportional to airflow. To estimate drying time for airflow values other than 1 cfm/bu., divide the drying time in the table by the cfm/bu. for your bin. For example, if your airflow is 1.25 cfm/bu. and the estimate in the table is 10 days, your estimated drying time would be 10 days/1.25 = 8 days.

As you can see in Table 1, weather conditions are a huge factor in how long it takes to dry grain.

Jasa is a Nebraska Extension engineer. This report comes from UNL CropWatch.

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