Before the Soybean Harvest : Inspecting and Preparing Silos

August 27, 2020

The soybean harvest is only a few weeks away! Depending on the oncoming temperature, soybeans plants will lose their greenish tinge and turn yellow, meaning that they are mature. Let’s hope for more warm weather! Until then, it is time to inspect and prepare the silos for storage. We are sharing with you how to create favourable conditions for a successful on-farm storage this year. In a later blog post, we will take a closer look at the proper aeration and drying of the soybean crop.

Since the goal is to store soybeans and seeds for a period of 1 to 6 months which will vary based on each grower’s needs, there are five important factors on which to focus: silo selection, seed cleaning, silo filling, seed handling, and testing and sampling. 

Selecting the right silo

  • Opt for a fully perforated floor (it’s an absolute must!);
  • Pick a shorter but wider silo;
  • Ensure that the silo is waterproof and snowproof;
  • Ventilate the silo adequately;
  • Make enough air intake openings;
  • Make sure that the area under the floor, the walls and the interior of the silo are kept clean.

Cleaning seeds

If dockage and weeds gather in certain areas of the silo, moisture may rise and airflow decrease. Use a pre-cleaner if you have harvested a field with a weed issue.

Filling the silo

  • Spread the grain out evenly with a non-mechanical spreader;
  • If stored for more than two months, it is important to move the grain around;
  • Level the top before aerating the silo’s content in the fall;
  • Leave enough room for probing.

Handling soybeans and seeds

  • Choose an 8” wide auger conveyor (the minimum, preferably) to load and unload the silo;
  • Work at a low RPM and run the auger as full as possible but slowly;
  • Pay special attention when switching from a small to a larger auger.

Testing and sampling

  • Use a calibrated moisture tester;
  • Sample adequately over time and a large area.

Once all these factors are taken into account, all the conditions for foolproof grain storage should be fulfilled. 

In the next post, we will further discuss the aeration and drying of the soybean crop!