February 28, 2001 | By: Laura Skillman

There is more to storing grain than simply putting it into the bin and waiting to deliver it to market. Two meetings next month will focus on the details of making sure that stored grain remains in good quality.

"The job's not done until it's delivered to the elevator," said Sam McNeill, an extension agricultural engineer with the University of Kentucky.

The first meeting is March 22 at the Henderson Community College and is sponsored by UK and Purdue University Cooperative Extension Services. Another program, March 29 at the Warren County Extension office in Bowling Green, is being sponsored by UK and the University of Tennessee Cooperative Extension Service.

Interest in grain storage is on the upswing, McNeill said.

"We feel there is the need for this kind of information," he said. "Production has been up; the markets have been sluggish, and anytime you have that combination there is more demand for storage."

McNeill said exact figures of how much additional storage is being added in the state is not yet available but he does see more bins being built. Also, a U.S. Department of Agriculture low-interest loan program for storage bins is an opportunity for farmers to add capacity to their facilities.

Recent changes in the loan program have broadened it to include not only additional storage capacity but other equipment needed to complement storage, he said. It can now be used to upgrade existing facilities, not simply to expand.

The March meetings will include information on fine-tuning the system from field to facility - matching combine, hauling, handling and drying capacities.

Temperature monitors, aeration fan controllers, grain bin safety, fumigation tips, monitoring grain for moisture and insects, preventing mold and toxins and handling identity preserved crops will be addressed.

Economists will discuss marketing stored grains and the economics of grain handling and storage. A farmer panel will also discuss handling and storage issues.

The programs run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. An application has been made for continuing education credits for pesticide applicators.

For more information on the program contact extension agents Mike Smith in Henderson County at (270) 826-8387 or Luther Smith in Warren County at (270) 842-1681, or McNeill or Doug Johnson, UK Extension Entomologist, in Princeton at (270) 365-7541.


Sam McNeill, (270) 365-7541