Mother Nature is always on a grower’s mind, especially during harvest.
A late-season rain — or early frost — can keep producers out of the field for days or even weeks and seriously reduce the quality and grade of one’s crop.
That’s why more and more growers are beating Mother Nature to the punch by using grain dryers to harvest early and successfully prepare tough and damp grain for long-term storage.
Benefit from early harvest
Growers who make grain dryers an integral part of their grain-handling system enjoy a more flexible harvest. Depending on the time of year, grain drying equipment can eliminate several days of in-field drying and condition the grain more quickly and effectively.
“It lets them go earlier in the morning, later in the day and lets them start harvesting a little bit earlier in the season,” said Brent Cohoe, a member of the Co-op Propane team in Carman, Man., who helps Co-op members and customers find propane solutions for their needs, including grain drying equipment.
According to Manitoba Agriculture, wheat, oats and barley, for example, can be harvested at 20-per-cent-moisture and successfully dried to 14 per cent without affecting the quality or grade of the grain.
By getting the crop off earlier, growers also reduce the threat of disease and adverse weather and, in some cases, eliminate the need for swathing.
“We just started combining here a week and a half ago,” Cohoe said in late August. “Now we’re into three or four days of rain. The guys who were letting it dry down naturally may be caught with a poorer quality of wheat.”
Put propane to work
The latest generation of propane-powered grain drying equipment burns cleaner, lasts longer and delivers improved energy efficiency over older systems.
To take advantage of the new technology, you need an on-farm propane storage system that will ensure you have the fuel to get the job done. Across Western Canada, Co-op provides farmers with propane storage and bulk delivery services. Whether it’s a small, 120-gallon “pig” or a large 2,000-gallon tank, Co-op is fully equipped to handle any size or type of propane installation.