Corn harvest has begun, and harvest moisture thus far has required substantial drying.
Drying corn in early fall is a challenge. Corn at its highest moisture and air humidity slows the process. The optimum moisture content for stored grain is 12% to 13%.
Corn will store at higher moisture, but the four main grain-inhabiting insects require 13% to 15% moisture for maximum feeding and reproduction. In addition to insect problems, higher moisture content can result in spoilage and fungal issues.
There has been a lot of storage added to the area, and it will all be filled this fall in anticipation of the market paying to carry grain to next year. The key is proper management of your storage conditions to ensure grain quality is maintained.
After the bin is filled, move air through the corn any time you can. Reducing the grain temperature has a direct effect on the growth of insect populations. A "cap out" insecticide treatment to the surface of the grain will provide an insect barrier.
Products containing bacillus thuringensis (Bt) are commonly used for this. Use of insect glue strips in the area between the grain and roof may provide control of various grain moths before they are able to lay their eggs.
After the bin is filled, it is important to unload the amount necessary to create a cone. Unless the bin is equipped with a spreader, damaged grain and foreign material concentrate at the center of the bin, and those materials restrict airflow. Unloading the bin center improves airflow and significantly reduces the risk of an issue developing. I often hear of the reluctance to give up the storage space. Unloading the bin center and refilling the cone is better than leaving the center fill full of damage and trash from the floor to grain surface.
Storing corn in horizontal flat storage has gained in popularity in recent years. Many buildings in the county are designed for this, and depending on size and wall height, capacity can be significant. Like bin storage, cooling airflow is important. Perforated drain tile fixed to a fan beneath the mass of grain is an effective option for providing some air movement.
Check your stored grain regularly for insect and storage problems. For grain spoilage and for surface-infesting caterpillars, simply looking in the hatch and using your nose to smell the grain can be of major value.
Grain and Forage Center of Excellence Ribbon-Cutting
On behalf of the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, I am proud to announce the ribbon-cutting ceremony of the Grain and Forage Center of Excellence at the Princeton Research and Education Center. This event will be at 2 p.m. Thursday.
The effort, which began three years ago, is an example of leadership at work. The University of Kentucky, Kentucky Farm Bureau, Kentucky General Assembly, the Kentucky agricultural commodity organizations, multiple private businesses and hundreds of individuals rallied support behind the effort to improve upon the grain and forage research and outreach capacity of the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. A special thank you is extended to the 16 Daviess County individuals who provided support for this effort through their UK Benefactor Lifetime Membership to the Kentucky Corn Growers Association.
Wheat Variety Test
The University of Kentucky Wheat Variety Test results are available at the Daviess County Cooperative Extension Office or online at http://www.uky.edu/Ag/wheatvarietytest/. In addition to overall yield of multiple years of more than 100 varieties, the publication also includes information on wheat disease tolerance ratings and wheat and triticale forage yield for hay crops. It is the best source of yield information from Kentucky for selecting wheat to be grown on your farm.
Join us for the 4-H Open House and Recognition Event from 5 to 7 p.m., Sept. 26 at the Daviess County Cooperative Extension Office. Learn about 4-H Clubs and opportunities, enjoy food and fellowship, and recognize outstanding 4-H members and volunteers. This event combines our former 4-H Tailgate and Awards Banquet to bring everyone together in celebration! It is a come-and-go event; food will be available starting at 5:30 p.m., with awards presented at 6 p.m. We hope to see you there!