How to Increase Moisture in Too-Dry Soybeans

November 22, 2022

The Fall 2022 weather conditions could mean that your soybeans were harvested at below the standard moisture content. If your soybean moisture is 11-12%, conditioning may be needed to achieve the standard 13% moisture at delivery time.

Here are some important tips from our team to help deal with this situation:

  1. Aerate your soybeans when the relative humidity is at 70% and temperatures range between 0° and 20°C. This will stabilize the beans’ moisture at between 13.7% and 12.7%;
  2. Do not run the bin fans day and night, since when the humidity is at its lowest, the soybeans are more likely to lose moisture rather than gain some;
  3. Do not run the bin fans on cloudy days or in periods of very high humidity, as this could make the soybeans too wet;
  4. Use an automatic humidistat to turn the bin fans on and off;
  5. Keep the fan airflow rate at above 1 cfm/bushel to ensure adequate aeration;
  6. Level the grain mass in the upper part of the bin to increase aeration efficiency and flow.

Consequences of soybean moisture stress

Profitability is affected when soybeans are delivered below 13% moisture. The beans are more fragile and split more easily; they are also lighter. When soybean moisture is around 13%, the beans are heavier and weigh more per tonne.

For instance: at a yield of 1 metric tonne per acre, harvesting at 9% moisture instead of 13%  is equivalent to losing 46 kg per acre. At a price of $700/tonne, that is a loss of $32 per acre.

At the same time, it is always important to balance the cost of fan operation against the benefit of marketing your soybeans at the desired moisture content.

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