Grain and Energy Calculators

My extension work in grain storage has resulted in the development of several tools that help farmers estimate costs and savings. I am particularly interested in on-farm grain storage, because on-farm storage in Kentucky is approximately 75% of the total. In other words, for every 4 bushels stored in Kentucky, three are stored on a farm and one is stored at a grain elevator. Because on-farm storage is so prevalent in the state, I have designed calculators and worksheets that enable farmers to make decisions based on multiple, often changing, factors.  

Tools  are available in the following areas:

  • Grain Drying and Storage
  • Energy Efficiency
    • Poultry
    • Greenhouses
    • Farm Shops

Grain Drying and Storage


Do you have a grain bin, flat storage, outdoor pile, or bag you would like to estimate the number of bushels in? The following spreadsheet allows you to quickly check the capacity of bushels in different bins.

Storage Capacity of Grain Storage Structures 


Shrink factors

Grain is harvested at a wide range of moisture contents. The quantity of grain sold is on a market moisture content. The following spreadsheet allows you to evaluate the shrink factor for various grains at a wide range of moisture contents.

Grain Shrink Factor Calculator


Grain Hauling

A number of factors influence the decision on where to sell your grain. Based on fuel cost, truck capacity, labor and waiting time at two buying locations, the cost to haul the grain can be estimated.

Grain Hauling Cost Calculator


Fuel Cost Comparison for Drying Grain

Large fluctuations in the cost of LP and natural gas have caused many producers to question the ideal fuel for drying grain.

Grain Drying Fuel Cost Comparison - LP vs Natural Gas


Cost of Drying Wet Corn versus Field Drying

The decision when to begin corn harvest is a function of the grain price, drying cost, and potential in-field losses due to delayed harvest.

Cost of Harvest Losses vs. Heated Air Drying


Costs of Drying Wheat and Delayed Planting of Double Crop Soybeans

When you begin the harvest of wheat will influence the cost of wheat production and the potential yield of double crop soybeans.

Timely Soybean Planting is Pivotal to Profits

Wheat Drying vs. DC Bean Calculator


Equilibrium Moisture Content

The two largest factors in determining the storability of grain are moisture content and temperature.

Equilibrium Moisture Content for Grains


Seed Cost Comparison

How much will a bag of seed plant will cost, based on germination, desired plant population, and seed weight.

Control Seed Costs to Manage Profits

Seed Cost Calculator



Energy Efficiency Tools

Tools provided by the NRCS designed to help reduce energy cost or employ renewable energy resources. Tools cover operations from grain drying to livestock to biomass and many others.

The NRCS has developed several energy tools to help farmers understand where they are using energy and where they might be able to cut back on that energy usage. Specific tools cover Animal Housing, Irrigation, Nitrogen, and Tillage.


Poultry Houses

Thinking about changing out those incandescants to dimmable CFL's? Use the Poultry Light Savings Worksheet to estimate savings.

 Poultry Light Savings Worksheet


Farm Shops

Adding insulation to buildings is one of the most beneficial energy savings techniques. This tool helps you estimate the energy savings you can expect by adding insulation, giving you better insight into how much that project might actually pay back.!

Farm Shop Insulation Savings Calculator  



Virtual Grower is a decision support tool from the USDA-ARS designed to help producers evaluate greenhouse building design, upgrades, and heating schedules. (Download required.)

Virtual Grower