Producers who aren't equipped to mix the soybeans after reconditioning need to avoid wetting the beans to moisture levels at which they are unsafe to be stored. Here are some ways to prevent excessive rewetting:

  • Add a second humidistat that stops the fan when the relative humidity reaches very high levels.
  • Install a microprocessor-based controller that monitors temperature and humidity, and runs only when air conditions will bring the crop to the desired moisture content.

The disadvantage of these options is that the fan doesn't run as many hours.

Reconditioning time primarily depends on the airflow per bushel and weather conditions. Reconditioning occurs the fastest when the airflow is high and the air is warm and humid. It will be the most successful in a drying bin that has a fully perforated floor and a fan that can deliver at least 0.75 cubic ft./minute of airflow/bushel.

Even with this airflow, moving a rewetting front all the way through the bin probably would take at least a month of fan operation.

Producers also need to be aware that soybeans swell when they absorb moisture, which could create enough pressure to damage bin walls, Hellevang says. One way to reduce that pressure is to use a vertical-stirring auger to mix layers of wet and dry beans. Another option is to unload some beans from the bin periodically.

Here are some other problems with low-moisture beans: more beans split; more damage occurs during harvest and handling, which results in reduced germination; and field loss will be greater.

To minimize damage during handling, use belt conveyors instead of augers or operate augers at slow speeds and keep them full. If using pneumatic conveyors, maintain proper air-to-grain ratios, make sure the conveying tubes have gentle curves and use a low conveying velocity. Also, minimize drop heights. Use bean ladders in situations in which beans may fall during conveying.

For more information about reconditioning, drying, handling and storing soybeans, visit the NDSU Extension Service's soybean production guide (pdf).