Date of this Version
This NebGuide discusses factors affecting natural air corn drying system performance, and gives recommendations for bins filled over a one- to two-day period.
Natural air drying is an energy efficient drying method that is particularly well suited to Nebraska weather conditions. A high quality dried product, with little of the stress cracking or heat damage associated with high temperature drying, is an added attraction. However, good management practices must be followed to achieve satisfactory drying results.
A major concern with this method is overloading the bin with corn too wet to be dried without spoilage or deterioration, especially when the bin is filled within a one- or two-day period. Once the bin is filled, drying fans need to be operated in a manner that allows the corn to be safely dried to the desired moisture level while minimizing energy use. An understanding of how drying occurs in a bin is helpful in relating management recommendations to the achievement of these goals.