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Keep checking stored grain

With spring planting creeping closer, area farmers are concentrating on the 2012 crop. But they should give a little attention to stored grain from last year's crop, a North Dakota State University Extension Service official says.

With spring planting creeping closer, area farmers are concentrating on the 2012 crop. But they should give a little attention to stored grain from last year's crop, a North Dakota State University Extension Service official says.

Temperatures are expected to reach well into the 40s in coming weeks, which could exacerbate moisture or insect problems in stored grain, says Ken Hellevang, the NDSU Extension Service grain-drying expert.

"If you've been checking your bins once a month, you should do it more often, at least once every few weeks," he says.

Although there have been anecdotal reports that some producers are encountering problems with stored grain, Hellevang says he's not aware of any widespread storage issues.

Dry conditions in the fall of 2011 limited the amount of wet grain that went into bins last fall, he notes.

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But producers shouldn't assume their stored grain is in good shape, especially with rising spring temperatures, he says.

More information on storing grain safely:

• Minnesota: www.extension.umn.

edu/specializations/cropsystems/M1080-FS.pdf.

• North Dakota: www.ag.ndsu.edu/

pubs/plantsci/smgrains/ae701-1.htm.

&bull South Dakota: http://pubstorage.

sdstate.edu/AgBio_Publications/articles/ExEx1003.pdf.

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• Montana: www.msuextension.

org/store/Products/Grain-Storage-Management__MT199135AG.aspx.

Agweek is owned by Forum Communications Co., which owns the Herald.

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