Grain storage tips
Proper grain storage helps reduce feed costs, and make chores easier. Hi, I'm Betsy Freese. Choosing the right location and container keeps out rodents and the elements…as you're living the country life.
Photo courtesy University of Nebraska Extension
Radio interview source: Kathy Anderson, Extension Horse Specialist, University of Nebraska
If you feed grain to livestock, proper storage of that grain is important for quality control and to reduce waste.
Kathy Anderson is an extension horse specialist at the University of Nebraska. She says when planning for grain storage, choose an area that's easy to get to, handy to use, and protected.
"The minimum would be getting it out of the elements, out of the rain, the wet, up on pallets so it's up off the ground," she says. "And then it would be even better if you could have it in some type of a secure or closed-in location because if you've got those bags, the rodents and stuff are going to get into them."
Rodents will chew through plastic containers, paper sacks, and even wood. A better storage option is a metal container such as a trash can with a lid, or a closed-in cart that can be easily wheeled around. Galvanized bulk bins are a preferred method for storing a lot of grain for larger herds of livestock. However, keep in mind that if bulk grain is not kept fresh and used in a timely manner, it might spoil and mold.
"I usually just say try to figure out what you need so you don't have an exorbitant amount sitting there, and try also to keep your feeding areas as clean as you can because that's going to minimize attracting some of those rodents so if you have some bags that get broke open, that might be something you can avoid," says Anderson.
Other factors to consider when storing grain are proper ventilation, keeping it out of direct sunlight and excessive heat, and choosing a location where animals and horses can't get into it.
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