Overstreet column

The 2019 season of challenges will not end.

Much of the grain harvested last fall was not harvested and stored under ideal conditions. Much of it was harvested with higher moistures than we would like. It was run through the dryer with higher temperatures than usual and some of the crop was killed by frost before it was mature. All of these issues can add up to poor quality for storage of the crop.

We are starting to see some of these issues now as we are emptying the bins. There is some spoilage in the grain which causes bridging or caking of the grain so it will not flow properly.

This is where you need to think about the you and your employee’s safety when handling the grain. Because of the grain not flowing correctly someone may enter the bin to try to free the grain. This is when entrapment can happen with in seconds. The grain may have formed a bridge that can collapse or there could be vertical columns along the edges of the bins that can collapse.

Never enter a bin while the grain is flowing and unloading equipment is running. A person can be fully submerged with 20 seconds in flowing grain.

Always lock out automatic unloading equipment before entering a bin.

Never work alone. Do not rely on a second person out side the bin they may not hear you or panic and fall themselves in the haste to get to you or trying to shut down the equipment.

Always work in 3’s If the situation is questionable. Utilize safety a safety harness. If will take two adults out side to life one person from inside if entrapment is to occur.

Keep Children out of the bins or transportation vehicles.

If you are concerned use a long pole from outside the bin to test the grain surfaces before entering the bin.

Do weekly checks of the condition of your grain.

The weather we have had this winter has also not helped the situation. We have not had many cold clear days where we can run the fans it chill the grain to help it store better.

Check for hot spots in the grain. If you have not already It would be good to take a load or two out to core the middle where fines may have accumulated when filling.