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New Publication Helps Farmers Manage Energy Used for Corn Drying

By Mark Hanna, Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering

When corn harvesting conditions allow optimal time for in-field drying, taking full advantage can reduce on-farm energy consumption. A new publication from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach explains the basic principles of energy management for grain drying.

“Improving Corn Drying Efficiency” (PM 2089Q) explains corn moisture content, plant physiology and the fundamental principles of drying corn following harvest. Topics include in-field drying, considerations for selecting earlier maturing hybrids and recommendations for holding corn “wet and cold” through the winter. When conditions allow, implementing some or all of these techniques can help growers reduce fuel bills for grain drying.

Both over-drying and under-drying corn can lead to wasted energy and lost grain quality. Consider options to reduce your drying needs and manage your drying system closely during changing weather and grain conditions to reduce energy use and maintain grain quality.

For more tips on energy efficiency around the farmstead, visit or follow @ISU_Farm_Energy on Twitter.

The Farm Energy publications are part of a series of farm energy conservation and efficiency educational materials being developed through the ISU Farm Energy Initiative. The purpose is to increase farmers’ awareness of opportunities for improving efficient use of farm energy. The initiative also will help farmers and utility providers to explore opportunities to reduce farm energy demand and to improve overall profitability in a rapidly changing energy environment.


Mark Hanna is an extension agricultural engineer in agricultural and biosystems engineering with responsibilities in field machinery. Hanna can be reached at or (515) 294-0468.


This article was published originally on 9/14/2011 The information contained within the article may or may not be up to date depending on when you are accessing the information.

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