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
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Drying Wheat and Planting 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.
Equilibrium Moisture Content
The two largest factors in determining the storability of grain are moisture content and temperature.
Seed Cost Comparison
How much will a bag of seed plant will cost, based on germination, desired plant population, and seed weight.
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.
Thinking about changing out those incandescants to dimmable CFL's? Use the Poultry Light Savings Worksheet to estimate savings.
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.!
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.)