Avoid Overdrying for Optimal Market Value

Overdrying corn can result in significant economic losses due to reduced weight, potential quality degradation, and additional energy costs. It is essential to have a grain moisture and grain temperature system in place to assure your investment is secure. Here’s a detailed breakdown of these costs for a 50,000-bushel bin of corn:

  1. Weight Loss and Market Value:
    • When corn is overdried, it loses moisture content beyond the optimal level, leading to a reduction in weight. Corn is typically sold by weight, so this directly impacts the total amount sold.
    • For instance, drying corn from 15% to 13% moisture content results in approximately a 2% weight loss. For a 50,000-bushel bin, this equates to losing 1,000 bushels (50,000 bushels x 0.02).
    • At the current market price of $4.40 per bushel, this results in a financial loss of $4,400 (1,000 bushels x $4.40 per bushel)​ (Peoples Company)​​ (Farm and Ranch Depot)​.
  2. Quality Degradation:
    • Overdrying can lead to increased kernel breakage and reduced grain quality, which may fetch lower prices in the market. Although exact numbers can vary, reductions in quality can result in discounts ranging from $0.10 to $0.20 per bushel​.
    • Assuming a conservative estimate of a $0.10 discount per bushel for all 50,000 bushels, the additional loss would be $5,000 (50,000 bushels x $0.10 per bushel).
  3. Additional Energy Costs:
    • Overdrying requires more energy, which translates into higher drying costs. If it costs approximately $0.11 per bushel to dry corn from 20% to 15% moisture, drying further from 15% to 13% will incur additional costs.
    • The additional cost can be estimated as $0.11 per bushel for each percentage point of moisture removed. For removing an extra 2% moisture, the additional drying cost would be $0.22 per bushel.
    • For 50,000 bushels, this results in an extra cost of $11,000 (50,000 bushels x $0.22 per bushel)​.

Total Estimated Loss:

Summing up all these factors, the total estimated loss from overdrying a 50,000-bushel bin of corn can be substantial:

  • Weight Loss: $4,400
  • Quality Degradation: $5,000
  • Additional Energy Costs: $11,000

Total Loss: $20,400

This analysis highlights the importance of maintaining optimal moisture levels during the drying process to avoid significant financial losses. Proper management and monitoring can help mitigate these risks and ensure the economic viability of grain storage operations.

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