With last year’s carryover still occupying many grain bins here in Indiana and the condition of some of that crop, Purdue Ag and Biological Engineering Professor and field safety specialist Bill Field is cautioning that the potential for grain entrapment is higher this year.
“In the last few weeks we’ve had four people entrapped in soybeans, which is fairly rare for us, and it’s from last year’s soybeans that were put in out of condition or too wet and now they’re having a devil of a time to get them back out of storage.”
Those incidents included farmers going into the bins to break up the grain with various objects, one being a pick-axe. Field said many are trying to make room to mix this year’s grain with last year’s and it’s leading farmers to take some risks.
While it may be too late for last year’s crop already in the bin, Field says don’t make that mistake with this year’s crop at harvest time.
“We’re really trying to emphasize that the best way to prevent entrapments in grain is not to have a great rescue team in place, but rather having good grain going into storage. So, everything needs to be dried down, we can’t store for very long, anything about 14% or 15% and any attempts above that for any length of time increases the likelihood of it going out of condition. Then people are going to have to fight with it to get it out later.”
Field knows farmers are looking for efficient and expeditious ways of getting things done at harvest time; however, especially this year with all of the late planting, he recommends, “Let’s be a little patient this fall. We’re going to, hopefully, have a lot of sunshine, we still have some growing time left. Let’s wait as long as possible before you put the grain into storage.”
Field spoke at the Purdue Crops Field Day in West Lafayette on Thursday.