Tuesday, June 17, 2008
04:30 PM


Wheat Drying and Storage

Insect Recommendations for Small Grains University of Kentucky - 2008
(Bottom of the Page)
Keeping the Bugs and Molds out of Grain Bins
(Auburn University)

IPM Tactics for On-Farm Stored Grain
(Auburn University)

Fumigating Agriculture Commodities with Phosphine
(Auburn University)

IPM Stored Grains - Insect Control Recommendations for 2008
(Auburn University)

Wheat Harvest, Drying and Storage
(University of Missouri)

Management of Soft Red Winter Wheat
(University of Missouri)


General Rules for Wheat Drying and Storage
Bill Casady
Crops Engineer
University of Missouri-Columbia
205 Ag. Engineering Building
Columbia, MO 65211

The first step is sanitation with the bins thoroughly cleaned and treated for insect pests.  

Natural air can be used to dry wheat but the moisture must be 18% or less.   A very small amount of heat resulting in a temperature rise of just 3 to 5 degrees Fahrenheit is typically necessary when moisture contents are as high as 20%.  Drying to 14% moisture content should be completed within one day. 

The wheat should be dried in shallow layers of 2 3 feet deep with plenty of air.  Airflow rates should be in the order of 2 to 5 cfm per bushel.  The fans should run continuously until the wheat is dry.  Running the fans day and night can help prevent heating.  The reason is three-fold.  The bottom layer can over-dry and will act as a desiccant at night to dry the moist air some and allow drying of the upper layers to continue.  The cool night time temperatures keep the wheat relatively cool.  The last wheat to go into the bin should already be dry. 

Monitor stored wheat on a regular basis, at least weekly until wheat is cooled to 50 F and then at least monthly until the grain is sold. Good monitoring practices require checking the moisture content and temperature of the wheat throughout the grain mass. Aeration fans should be run immediately if musty smells or crusted grain are detected. Continue running fans until the problem is solved or until the wheat is sold. 

Also, monitor for insect activity closely.  Since it is almost impossible to cool wheat in the summer and early fall months, the only protection will come from insecticides.     

The University of Missouri Extension has an excellent publication on Management of Soft Red Winter Wheat and includes a section on Wheat harvest, drying and storage.  You can go to the web site and print off the sections of interest or order the publication from the web site or contact your county extension office.   

Management of Soft Red Winter Wheat

Wheat harvest, drying and storage 


Control of Insect Pests in Stored Grain 

Following is a link to the University of Kentucky 2008 Insect Recommendations for Small Grains. The insecticides that are cleared for Kentucky may not be cleared for Missouri.




David Reinbott
Agriculture Business Specialist

University Outreach and Extension David Reinbott, reinbottd@missouri.edu
Farm Management Specialist
Last modified: June 17, 2008