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.