University of Kentucky College of Agriculture College of Engineering


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Grain Storage Systems


Kentucky grain farmers produced nearly 189 million bushels of corn, soybean, and wheat, in 2012 (Table 1). This was much lower than production seen in 2011 (Table 2), due primarily to the prolonged drought conditions in much of the western part of the state, which impacted the corn crop significantly. In most years, grain is stored on-farm between 1 to 6 months (KASS, 2012), and Kentucky farmers maintain a sound reputation of producing high quality products for feed, food, and fuel use throughout the southeastern US and around the world. Between 2005 and 2009, 20 million bushels of additional on-farm storage capacity was constructed…bringing the state’s total to 190 million bushels and combining with current off-farm storage capacity of 70 million bushels.

Average commodity prices for 2012 place the total value of grain crops at just under $1.7 billion. Post-harvest losses of 1% are not uncommon during storage and can result subsequent discounts by the elevator or grain buyer, which represents about $17 million in lost income statewide this year! Hence, prudent management of these products is essential to protect product value and quality during handling, drying and storage. The University of Kentucky Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering Department's extension education program is dedicated to providing timely information that emphasizes safe handling practices, energy efficient drying methods, and proven storage management tools that help producers and elevator managers maintain high quality grain after harvest.


Table 1. Kentucky grain production, average of monthly prices and production value for 2012.

KASS: Agri-News 2012 (


Table 2. Kentucky grain production, average of monthly prices and production value for 2011.

KASS: Agri-News 2011 (

Average monthly prices received for corn and soybeans in KY

Source: KASS Agri-News Releases.

Source: KASS Agri-News Releases.

Other links of interest:

1.     Grain shrink calculator

2.     Comparison of grain hauling costs to two destinations

3.     Safe storage moisture levels for corn, soybean and wheat

4.     Energy audits for grain dryers

5.     Curriculum vitae

6.     International activities to prevent post-harvest losses of grains

7.     Grain Bin Capacity Spreadsheet

8.     S.L.A.M. - An Integrated Approach to Maintain Stored Grain Quality