Ground Pile Design and Management Quality deterioration in outdoor grain piles can occur rapidly. That's why it's important to manage and frequently check grain piles. Many variables exist in the success of outdoor grain piles. Optimizing these variables, including site preparation, storage design, use of aeration and storage management, will result in a higher rate of success. There is more risk of storage losses with ground piles than with storage bins, so ground piles should be considered short-term storage and must be monitored frequently.
Anyone harvesting, drying or handling moldy corn should use respiratory protection, according to Ken Hellevang, agricultural engineer with the North Dakota State University Extension Service. A nuisance-dust mask with a single strap will not provide the needed protection, and allergic reactions to these microscopic mold spores are the most common health problem associated with mold exposure.
Heat damage in drying corn can result in corn kernels discoloring and turning brown. The potential for heat damage is related to the kernel temperature, which is related to the drying temperature, length of time the kernel is exposed to the heat and the kernel moisture.
Mold problems in standing corn will often get worse until the corn has dried to about 20 percent moisture, or grain temperatures drop below 40 degrees.
These problems can include mold growth, which can be harmful if fed to livestock; shorter storage life; and respiratory health hazards.