Storage Tips for Soybeans

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Knowing how to properly store soybeans is especially important this year as an increasing number of Alberta growers warmed up to growing soybeans as the market cooled down.

Dr. Joy Agnew of Prairie Agricultural Machinery Institute (PAMI) shared some expert tips for drying and storing an oilseed like soybeans that will come in handy this year with a colder and wetter September than usual in much of Alberta.

“Spoilage of soybeans usually isn’t the issue,” she said. “The main challenge with storage of soybeans, particularly in western Canada, is keeping them from freezing to the point where they will not flow out of the bin. Some commercially available solutions to help break up frozen masses in the bin are available, but none have been proven yet.”

Agnew added that it is highly recommended to “core” a bin of soybeans to help prevent spoilage and storability issues. This means pulling out a load to invert the cone at the top of a full bin. The material removed during coring is likely to be of lower quality (broken seeds, dockage, etc.) and may need to be stored separately.

For short-term storage of soybeans (<6 months), target a 12% moisture content. For longer-term storage of soybeans (>6 months), target a 10% moisture content.

As for all grains, cool soybeans to 15 degrees Celsius or lower to minimize risk of spoilage. Due to the higher risk of freezing/sticking, be careful about cooling below five degrees Celsius.

Blowing air through soybeans is generally much easier than blowing air through other oilseeds because of the larger kernels. Less resistance equals more airflow.

“Equilibrium moisture content charts for soybeans do exist,” Agnew noted, “but I am unsure how accurate or useful they are since we have never evaluated natural air drying of soybeans.”

For more information about storing pulses, click here for resources from Saskatchewan Pulse Growers and here for information from Iowa State University.

Click here to read more about PAMI’s research project investigating best practices for storing pulses.

Source: Pulse Check