The process of drying soybeans has evolved significantly over the years. While the fundamental principal is largely the same (store large batches of grain until it dries), the specifics of how it’s done, and the degrees to which it has been fine-tuned, have changed quite a bit. All drying methods that work for corn can be adapted to soybeans, though the differences between the two are important to bear in mind. So in the interest of helping out, we’re going to go over some helpful hints on drying and managing soybeans. You can find more information on any of these tips in our Grain Drying Manual.
- Soybeans are more fragile than corn and can be damaged by air that is too hot or too dry. Too much heat can cause seed cracking and splits. High drying temperatures can cause 100% splits in as short as five minutes. To prevent coat cracking, the drying air should be kept above 40% relative humidity. In commercial drying, when splits are less of a concern, soybeans can be dried with a maximum temperature of 130-140°
- In-bin drying systems designed for corn can work for soybeans too. However, in-bin continuous-flow systems and stirring devices can damage them as moisture drops to 12% or below. Grain spreaders will work for commercial soybeans, but not for seed beans. When not using a spreader, several loads can be removed from the bin’s center during filling to keep grain level and help remove the fines.
- To keep in-bin moisture as even as possible, it’s best to use shallow batch depths of 2-3’ when drying.
- Run soybeans through a grain cleaner to help remove weed seeds and fines. Too many of either will increase airflow resistance and promote mold and pest growth.
- Soybeans have a high oil content, which means they spoil more easily than corn. It’s recommended to keep moisture at 13% for winter storage.
- A good aeration system is necessary for safe storage. Ideally, it will be a system with a full floor. Whenever the grain temperature is 10°F above the outside air temperature, the grain can be cooled until the bin temperature is 35-40°
Obviously, there is a lot more that can go into safely drying and storing soybeans, but hopefully these tips will prove useful. As always if you are in need of grain drying, grain storage, or grain handling equipment, please let Gateway FS Construction Services know. Give us a call at 866-551-3454, and let our specialists help you find exactly what you are looking for. We look forward to providing you the best customer service experience.