Training Modules Address Grain Storage Issues Faced by Farmers

AMES, Iowa — Crop producers are faced with new grain storage issues as they store increasing amounts of grain for local processing, sometimes storing grain for a full year. A team of Iowa State University Extension and Outreach field and campus specialists, formed as part of the Iowa Grain Quality Initiative, is working to meet the informational needs farmers have related to grain storage.

The extension team recently released three Web-based training modules covering key aspects of grain drying and storage. Greg Brenneman and Shawn Shouse, agricultural engineering specialists with ISU Extension and Outreach, are the online course instructors. The 20-minute modules cover

  • Aeration of stored grain
  • Energy efficiency and drying capacity gains from dryeration
  • Fan performance and sizing

They can be viewed or downloaded at

“Higher grain yields and increased local demand have been good for farmers, but also have created a situation where we need to think more about maintaining grain quality on a much larger scale,” said Greg Brenneman, extension agricultural engineering specialist and grain storage team member. “Our team is creating Web training modules so farmers can better understand large-scale grain drying and storage, and we’re connecting them with decision-making tools so they can best manage their grain.”

Future modules are planned to cover inventory management and shrink, toxins and food safety factors, and preseason preparations for grain storage. Educational modules, publications and decision tools are available on the team’s website at

Ag Decision Maker farm storage cost analysis tools

The grain storage team recently updated two Ag Decision Maker grain drying and storage economics tools, the Estimated Costs of Crop Production in Iowa – 2014 decision tool, a comparison of drying systems calculator, and the Grain Storage Alternatives: An Economic Comparison spreadsheet. These spreadsheets and the Monthly Cost for Storing Grain publication are available on the grain storage team website as well as the Ag Decision Maker website at