Livestock and Grain Producers: Dealing with Vomitoxin and Zearalenone

Vomitoxin in the 2020 corn crop continues to plague both livestock and grain producers. Livestock producers are trying to decide how best to manage corn and corn by-products with high levels of vomitoxin, and those who grow corn are trying to decide how best to avoid vomitoxin contamination in 2021.

In the 15 minute video below, OSU Extension Educations John Barker, Rob Leeds, and Jacci Smith discuss where and why this year’s vomitoxin issues originated, considerations for avoiding problems in coming years, how it impacts livestock, and what’s involved in testing grain for vomitoxin.

Extended Drydown in Corn

By:  Alex Lindsey OSU Extension

As fall is progressing, crop harvest is also occurring throughout the state. However, many producers are seeing slower than usual drydown in their corn fields this October. This may be in part due to how the weather conditions impacted corn growth and development this year.

In many parts of Ohio in 2020, temperatures were near the long-term average this season. One marked difference though was that precipitation was below normal for much of the season around the state. In the table below, I have shown 2020 weather progression compared to that of 2018 at the Western Agricultural Research Station, specifically highlighting average temperature and accumulated precipitation. Continue reading

Thinking about storing more grain this fall?

By Chris Bruynis OSU Extension

There are several market factors that may have farmers looking to increase their storage for this fall. With lower prices, some farmers will look to store grain and hope prices will improve. With the current basis and price improvement between the harvest period compared to the January/March delivery period of 22 to 40 cents for corn and 16 to 34 cents for soybeans, elevators are sending a message to store grain.

The concern I have is that we will use some facilities that are not typically used for grain storage making aeration challenging at best. With poor air movement, grain going into storage will need to be of better quality, lower foreign material, and probably lower moisture.

Farmers interested in learning some strategies for successful drying and storage of grain, specifically corn and soybeans, are invited to join a Zoom Webinar on Monday August 24, 2020 at 8:00 PM.  Dr. Kenneth Hellevang, Ph.D., PE, Extension Engineer and Professor from North Dakota State University will be the featured speaker. He is one of the leading experts on grain drying, handling and storage.

To join the webinar, go to and enter the Password: STORAGE

Also, if you cannot attend the program during the broadcast time, the recording will be available on the Ohio Ag Manager website following the program. The recording will be located at

If you have questions, fell free to contact Chris Bruynis, or 740-702-3200. If you need assistance logging in on the evening of the program, contact David Marrison at 740-722-6073 or

Wheat Harvest Preparation: Grain Bin Edition

By Clint Schroeder OSU Extension

The 2020 Ohio wheat harvest is rapidly approaching. Now is the time to prepare for a successful harvest. Before the combine goes to the field, a key component will be to have grain handling and storage facilities adequately sanitized. Taking the proper steps now should help eliminate insect infestations that can significantly reduce grain quality or salability.

The majority of insect infestations that occur in stored grains are a result of migration into the bin. These insect populations will be present in piles of spilled grain from the previous year, livestock feed in the area, litter, and weed growth. Newly harvested wheat can also be contaminated when it comes in contact with infested grain that was not cleaned from the combine, trucks, wagons, augers, dump pits, or grain leg buckets. Another source of contamination can be carryover grain in a bin that was not correctly emptied. Continue reading

Make Safety Your First Priority When Emptying Grain Bins

By Charles Schwab & Dirk Maier, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach

Following the wet and late harvest of 2019, several Midwest states are on the edge of a dangerous cliff when it comes to emptying their grain bins. Conditions are aligning to create the potential for tragic accidents and grain suffocation deaths to occur when grain bins start to be emptied.

It is common knowledge that quality harvested grain placed in storage, coupled with a best management practice of caring for grain, yields quality grain leaving storage for market. Inversely, either poor quality grain being placed in storage or poor management practices for caring for grain leads to spoiled grain leaving storage.grain facility system.

Getting spoiled grain out of storage always poses an increased safety risk for entrapment and suffocation to a farm operator and worker. There are years of documentation that illustrate the direct connection from spoiled grain leaving storage to a tragic grain entrapment and the resulting fatality. Continue reading

Grain Drying Considerations this Fall

By: Kristina TeBockhorst and Shawn Shouse, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach

With delayed planting across the state in 2019, it is important to monitor crop development to determine unique grain drying needs this fall.

Potential challenges:

Corn damaged by a freeze before it has reached physiological maturity will create issues of low test-weight, low quality, and high moisture. Even without frost damage, corn that reaches maturity later in the year can still have issues of high moisture with less in-field drying between maturity and harvest. Corn infield drying rate decreases with air temperatures: in September, weekly drying is estimated at 4.5 moisture points per week, and in October, November, and December, this is reduced to 2.5, 1, and 0.5, respectively.

Sell wet corn “as is” or dry it?

Harvesting wet grain leaves you with a decision about drying grain yourself or paying others for drying. Consider your buyer’s moisture discount factor or drying charge and shrink factor, as well as your drying system cost and shrinkage loss when deciding whether to sell wet grain or dry it before selling. Consider an example where a seller has 56,000 pounds (1,000 wet bushels) of 20.5% moisture corn and current corn price is at $3.50 per bushel.

Selling wet grain “as is” with a moisture discount:

If the buyer is assessing a moisture price discount of 2.0% for each moisture point above 15%, the discount would be 5.5 moisture points times 2.0% for a total discount of 11%, making the discount $3.50 times 11%, or $0.39 per bushel. In this case, the seller would see a net revenue of $3,110, or $3.11 times 1,000 wet bushels.

Selling wet grain “as is” with a drying charge and shrink factor:

The buyer may instead use a combination of drying charge and shrink factor. If the buyer is charging a drying fee of $0.048 per wet bushel per point of moisture removed, the drying charge would be $0.048 times 5.5 moisture points times 1,000 wet bushels, or $264. If the buyer uses a shrinkage factor of 1.4% per point above 15%, this would reduce the seller’s bushels by 77 bushels, or 1.4% times 5.5 moisture points times 1,000 wet bushels, leaving 923 bushels of dry grain. The net revenue would be $2,967, or 923 bushels times $3.50 minus $264.

Drying on-farm before selling:

Consider the drying cost per bushel of your system as well as the shrinkage loss from the drying process.  Using the Ag Decision Maker spreadsheet Corn Drying and Shrink Comparison (A2-32) and a propane cost of $1.00 per gallon and electricity cost of $0.14 per kilowatt-hour, we can estimate a high temperature drying system cost of $0.030 per bushel per point of moisture removed. The drying cost would be equal to $165 ($0.030 times 5.5 moisture points times 1,000 bushels).

Drying shrinkage loss is mostly due to water loss, but also includes handling (dry matter) weight loss. A 56,000-pound load of 20.5% moisture corn consists of 11,480 pounds of water and 44,520 pounds of dry matter. After drying 5.5 moisture points there will be 52,376 pounds (44,520 pounds divided by 0.85). Handling loss from on-farm drying has been measured between 0.22% to 1.71% of wet bushel weight. Assuming a common handling loss of 1%, handling shrink is 560 pounds. Dry weight to sell is 51,820 pounds, or 925 bushels (52,376 minus 560). Also assume additional transportation costs of $0.01 per bushel per mile, which would be $40 to haul four miles to the on-farm drying system. The net revenue then becomes $3,033 (925 times $3.50 minus $165 minus $40). Also consider additional drying costs if planning to store more than 6 months at a lower moisture content.

This example is for illustration only. Ask your buyer for moisture discounts or drying charges and shrink factors. Use your actual costs for propane and electricity.

Estimate propane needs for a high temperature dryer by using the following equation: 0.018 gallons times bushels dried times moisture points dried. While 0.018 gallons is an average propane usage estimate, this value may range from 0.010 to 0.025 gallons per bushel per moisture point, depending on the drying system and outdoor temperature.

If harvest is delayed later into the fall, consider that the drying cost of a high temperature dryer increases by around 14% with every 20 degree decrease in average outdoor temperature.


Frost Damage to Corn and Soybeans, PM 1635, Charles R. Hurburgh and Garren O. Benson, 2012.

High Moisture Corn Drying and Storage presentation, Kenneth Hellevang, 2014.

Soybean Drying and Storage, PM 1636, Charles R. Hurburgh, 2008.

Estimating the Cost for Drying Corn, A2-31, William Edwards, 2014.

Corn Drying and Shrink Comparison, A2-32, William Edwards, 2014.