South Dakota soybean farmers have built long-term relationships with our overseas customers who count on a quality and reliable product. Over 60% of South Dakota’s soybeans are exported overseas, and proper on-farm grain storage is the first step in ensuring this quality. South Dakota soybean farmers work very hard to produce a quality crop that turns into an abundant supply of food, feed and fuel. Maintaining the value of that crop doesn’t stop when it’s harvested and in the storage bin.
As we gear up for harvest, North Dakota State University Professor Kenneth Hellevang, Ph.D., offers these suggestions for storing soybeans:
- Harvest your soybeans at the right moisture. The optimum moisture content to store beans for selling by spring is 13 percent. Recommendations lie at 11 to 12 percent for storage at 1 year or longer.
- Consider allowable storage times. Storing soybeans with 13 percent moisture at a temperature of 70 degrees would allow for maximum storage of 70 days. Moisture should be closer to 11 percent to allow for longer storage throughout the following summer.
- Control spoilage and insect infestation. Begin to cool soybeans throughout the fall and into winter. Continue to keep them cool going into summer.
- Monitor regularly. Continually pay close attention to temperature, smell, insects and carbon dioxide levels in bins to ensure obvious problems do not go undetected.
- Use a drying system. If moisture content exceeds what can be stored, you have two options: high-temperature or natural-air/low-temperature drying. If using high-temperature drying, keep the temperature at a maximum of 130 degrees. If using low-temperature drying, remember to maintain adequate airflow.
For more information, The South Dakota soybean checkoff has created a quick Best Bean Practices video focused on soybean storage recommendations.