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University of Minnesota Extension

Natural-air corn drying

Better understand what natural-air drying is and find answers to common questions, such as about its advantages and disadvantages compared to other types of drying, equipment requirements, management recommendations and expected energy use.

Guidelines are designed for corn producers, educators, consultants and equipment dealers interested in natural-air corn drying in Minnesota and neighboring states.

About natural-air drying



Natural-air drying requires a fan, a bin and an air distribution system.

Exhaust vents and a grain spreader are desirable. Sometimes grain stirrers, heaters or both are added, but they normally aren't necessary for successful drying.


Guidelines for natural-air drying


Estimating and managing costs


Safety hazards

Dangers include falls while climbing bins, suffocation in grain and breathing mold spores.


Determining if natural-air drying is right for you


William Wilcke, emeritus Extension engineer and R. Vance Morey, emeritus agricultural engineer, College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences


Thanks to Extension Plant Pathologist Richard Meronuck, Extension Engineers Fred Bergsrud and John Shutske and Meeker County Extension Educator David Schwartz, for reviewing this content, and Diedre Nagy, John Molstad and Michael White of the Educational Development System for producing it.

Reviewed in 2018

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