New Publication Helps Farmers Evaluate Low-temperature Grain Drying Options

AMES, Iowa – Proper management of low-temperature grain drying equipment can reduce the energy consumed on the farm during and after corn harvest. A new publication from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach explains the management techniques and equipment needs for low-temperature grain drying.grain bin

“Energy Considerations for Low-temperature Grain Drying” (PM 2089U)
is available to download from the Extension Online Store,

“Low-temperature or natural-air drying typically requires less energy but also more time than high-temperature grain drying” said Mark Hanna, ISU Extension agricultural engineer. “It is important to understand the process and determine if it may be a good fit for your operation given the right conditions.”

This publication gives an overview of techniques and equipment for low-temperature grain drying, including bin size, airflow requirements and grain moisture content. Compared to high-temperature grain drying, low-temperature drying may span weeks or months of time. Management considerations are different for each drying method, but when conditions allow, implementing low-temperature drying techniques can help growers reduce fuel bills for grain drying.

“If your facilities include shorter bins with full perforated drying floors, low-temperature drying can reduce grain handling requirements and total energy consumption during harvest,” said Shawn Shouse, ISU Extension agricultural engineer. “Consider how to manage your existing drying facilities 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.