Checking Bins in the Spring Every year, at this time, we loose grain that is in bins to heating and bugs. There are some very good reasons for this and they need to be understood. The easiest solution is to check your bins. Better yet, move a little grain out of each bin that is full and see what the condition of the grain in the bins is. One of the reasons for the grain heating and the bugs showing up is that the south side of the bins are warming up faster than the rest of the bin. When this starts to happen, the air starts to move in the bin. If there is any excess moisture in the bin, there will be a hot spot in the grain bin from moisture. If there are any bugs present that were dormant through the winter, they will migrate to the warmer areas and cause heating to happen. Bigger steel bins have the greatest risk to develop hot spots because of the temperature differences. The other thing that can happen in the winter is that there can be moisture build-up inside the roof from condensation or snow blowing in from the eaves. Also, if the roof leaks on the bin, moisture can hit the grain. These wet spots usually can be seen when a producer gets up on top of a bin and looks in. There are some things that can be done to check for heated grain this time of year. The best way to check is to pull some grain out of each bin. This allows the producer to look at the grain as it comes out of the bin. If there is an off -smell or a smell is noticed when the grain is being augered, there is likely a problem with the grain that is in storage Watch for heat by pushing steel rods into the bin. The rods need to be pulled out after a period of time to see if they are warmer than they should be. This is not as easy to do this time of year because the place that needs to be checked is the bottom center of the bin. This is an area that is not easy to get at. If we get any more snow, watch how the snow melts off the top of a bin. If the snow on the roof of one bin melts faster than the rest of the bins, check that bin. It is likely to have a problem. With bins that have aeration, turning the fans on will help even out the temperature in the bin and reduce the risk of spoiling the grain. This will not correct a problem that already exists in a bin. If the problem already exists, the grain will have to be moved. Grain has value. Check your bins in the spring to make sure you get to sell all the bushels that you produced.