With a large shift to corn acres last year in the South, and concerns of where that grain would be stored, large storage bags became a potential solution, says Delta Farm Press.

Now, a few months after harvest, there are reports of the storage bags being a viable option.

To monitor the storage bags, Dennis Gardisser, University of Arkansas Extension agricultural engineer, and colleagues put in studies in southeast and northeast Arkansas. They also talked to producers about their experiences using storage bags for grain. Here's what they found:

  • Grain needs to be put into bags at consistent moisture levels — market moisture or below. The higher the moisture when bagged, the greater potential for damage or degradation of grain quality. However, the moisture didn't seem to migrate when in the bag.

  • Storage bags need to be monitored regularly for pests including rats, crows, coyotes and raccoons.

  • Check the temperature of the bags. To keep from puncturing the bags, Gardisser placed probes at 2- and 4-ft. depths. Researchers found after filling the bags, the temps inside were the same as air temperature. As the season progressed, the bag temps began to cool.

  • Users must also properly deal with water. The orientation of the bags “need to be such that they don't act as a dike,” says Gardisser, who has been impressed with the bagging equipment.

  • The bags can be used for storage for two or three months, a number that Gardisser is comfortable with. They have no data or research for storage beyond that time frame.

  • The quality of grain coming out of the bags that held a seal seems to be excellent, says Gardisser, but the seal must be tight.