Now that we’ve determined how to adequately aerate and dry soybeans, we must proceed to inspect and optimize silos as the storage begins. Methods and guidelines will vary depending on the season. Here’s a brief overview of the best practices throughout the year.
- To prepare the soybeans for winter, aerate continuously (regardless of the drying and aeration method chosen) to cool the grain mass as soon as it is stored in silo.
- Maintain the soybeans at a temperature between 0° and 5 °C and 12% to 14% moisture. To achieve and maintain these levels, aerate in cool and dry weather.
- Make sure the cold air passes through the entire grain mass at every aeration cycle.
- Every three weeks or so, exchange the air in the silo. Soybeans are living organisms that produce gases that should be aired.
- Aerating the silo when it’s too cold will promote condensation in the spring and, as a result, is not recommended. Avoiding unpleasant surprises, chiefly after major winter storms, requires regular inspections, especially of the top of the silo, because water and snow can seep inside through the vents due to strong prevailing winds. These inspections let you immediately spot leakages and/or resulting condensation.
- With freezing conditions giving way to milder weather, it is essential to continue inspecting the silo on a regular basis to ensure that there were no water or snow infiltrations over the winter.
- Every two weeks, exchange the air in the silo.
- Regularly and gradually, aerate to warm up the grain mass.
- When average outside temperature is 5 °C to 10 °C above that of the soybeans, aerate in dry weather.
- Even when the sun is hot and shining, regular inspections must continue.
- Every two weeks, keep on exchanging the air in the silo.
- When average outside temperature is 10 °C to 15 °C above that of the soybeans, aerate in dry weather.
When following these proven and effective methods to preserve the quality of soybeans during storage, regular inspections of the silo and temperature monitoring of the soybeans are the best indicator on which to rely.