2019 presented us with challenges in timeliness and quality for soybean and corn harvesting. Harvest was much later than usual, which meant that we didn’t have the normal, dry weather we need for soybeans to come out of the field at less than 13% moisture. This is a problem in a couple of ways. First the elevators will discount the soybeans brought in over 13% by 1% for every 1/2% they are over 13%. As the moisture climbs higher, the discount percent increases more yet. The second challenge is presented because we raise seed beans for Pioneer. They don’t want our soybeans for seed if they are over 14%. We waited through two days of sun and slight warmth to get to that point and still ended up with a bin of seed that tested higher than 14%.
Our soybean storage is not set up to dry, only to ventilate with a fan and outside air. Since the air never reached a point of being warm enough and dry enough to take more moisture out of the soybeans, it was time to get creative. We called the LP supplier and had him set up an LP heater that was meant as temporary heat for an enclosed area. We aimed this at the bin fan, at a distance that was not going to cause harm to the fan motor, and ran it for about a day. We carefully sampled different levels of the bin and were satisfied that we had accomplished our goal without damaging the seed. Pioneer sent a truck out to probe the bin officially and we passed! When the bin was emptied and samples were take load by load, we did have two truck loads that were slightly over the 14% but they weren’t rejected, just slightly discounted.