Soybean School: How to dry beans in the bin

OMAFRA's crop systems and environment engineering specialist James Dyck.

The 2018 Ontario soybean harvest got off to a roaring start in early fall but quickly ground to a halt as poor weather parked combines. In early December, many growers are still struggling to bin their beans.

The wet weather has left growers asking how they can manage higher moisture, wet soybeans. Management decisions are critical, especially for identity preserved (IP) soybean growers looking to protect quality and preserve premiums.

James Dyck, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs’s crop systems and environment engineering specialist, says the most common question he’s been getting from growers is whether wet beans can be bin dried with natural air. The simple answer is yes, says Dyck. “Natural air drying is a great option, especially for IP soybeans. IP beans can scorch and discolour in a heated-air dryer, which could cost you the premium.”

In this episode of RealAgriculture’s Soybean School, Dyck reviews the steps growers need to effectively dry soybeans in the bin. (Story continues after video).

Recommended steps for bin drying soybeans with natural air:

  • Determine harvest moisture. Beans combined between 13% to 18% moisture should harvest well and dry easily.
  • Each bin will need to be set up with 2 cubic feet per minute (CFM) of airflow per bushel of grain.
  • Install at least 1 square foot of vents per 1,000 CFM of fan airflow.
  • Fill bins 12 to 15 feet deep or less.
  • Core the bin after filling.
  • Level the bin after coring.
  • Run fans when outdoor humidity is between 60 to 70%.
  • For more detailed information on managing fans in damp weather, check out this article by Dyck:

Click here for more Soybean School episodes.


Bernard Tobin

Bernard Tobin is Real Agriculture's Ontario Field Editor. AgBern was raised on a dairy farm near St. John's, Newfoundland. For the past two decades, he has specialized in agricultural communications. A Ryerson University journalism grad, he kicked off his career with a seven-year stint as Managing Editor and Field Editor for Farm and Country magazine. He has received six Canadian Farm Writers' Federation awards for journalism excellence. He's also worked for two of Canada's leading agricultural communications firms, providing public relations, branding and strategic marketing. Bern also works for Guelph-based Synthesis Agri-Food Network and talks the Real Dirt on Farming.


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