Solving a corn storage crisis at livestock farm

Name and Position/Title:
Dr. Kris Kohl NW Field Specialist – Agricultural Engineering

Fiscal Year Submitted:

POW Title and Number:
105 Post harvest management and storage
181 Farm Safety and Bio-security

Solving a corn storage crisis at livestock farm

Issue (Who cares and Why):
The owner discovered that a 450,000-bushel bin of corn was heating and spoiling at the farm in December. The farm had another 2.2 million bushels in storage that was at risk of spoiling when they called their ISU Extension Ag Engineer to determine why that bin spoiled and how to prevent the rest from spoiling.  After the first visit it was determined that there was a very high safety risk in removing the grain from the spoiled bin because it would no longer flow and that 1.8 million of the other stored corn was at high risk of spoiling because of a broken grain cleaner.

What Did You Do?
As a result of the farm visit a plan was devised to safely unload the spoiled bin with everyone involved knowing the high risk and need for lockouts on the unloading equipment when personal were inside the bins.  A plan was also devised to core all the problem bins to prevent the core from spoiling on 4 out of 5 bins that were at high risk of spoiling and a second follow up visit was planned.  The follow up visit revealed that the corn was in much higher risk of spoiling because it was improperly assembled.  

The spoiled corn was successfully unloaded without anyone getting killed or injured.  The grain cleaner was properly assembled and used to clean the remaining corn and get it cooled to prevent spoilage saving the producer an estimated 1.8 million dollars.  The producer has adopted the recommendations of ISU to check and the corn and to keep the personal safe during a very stressful crop storage season.  The changes made have prevented a similar problem for the 2011 crop.


Page last updated: July 19, 2011
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