Smith Farms - Lebanon, IN
Upgrading His System
The wet 2009 harvest made it clear to Brent Smith that he needed more drying capacity. That’s why in 2011, he decided to purchase a new tower dryer that uses LP gas. The GSI T-24100 Tower Dryer would accompany an older dryer he had moved to his farm base six years ago and together the two dryers are able to remove 10 points of moisture from 2,600 bushels an hour. While the addition of the new dryer more than doubled his drying capacity, he also added four new 150,000-bushel bins, giving him just over 1.2 million bushels of storage.
Battling Field Losses
What’s harvest like at Smith Farms now? “We start early, when corn is at 27% moisture.” In previous years Smith had discovered, “When you let corn dry in the field, you end up with field losses and what I call invisible yield loss—maybe 5 to 8 bushels.” He once began shelling 27% corn making 185 bpa before quitting to cut soybeans. When he came back to that same field two weeks later, the corn was 20% moisture and only making 175 bpa. “Starting at 28% and getting the crop in as quickly as possible reduces invisible loss and nearly eliminates weather, disease and head shatter loss. With today’s higher yield and corn value, the invisible loss covers the fuel cost to run my dryer,” said Smith.
GSI Grain System Solution
With the increase in dryer capacity, Smith Farms can get a lot done quickly and reduce field losses later in the season. “Now that I’ve more than doubled the size of my drying, I will be able to get full capacity out of my combines early in the season, and run them all day long like I do when corn is down to 18% or 20%.” This allows his existing harvest equipment to cover more acreage which helps to manage his equipment costs. His increased drying capacity allows Smith to start harvest 7 to 10 days earlier. “I need one less combine, two less trucks and three fewer hard-to-find employees if I start early, harvest at higher moisture and dry my grain.” “We may plant early and have new hybrids that dry down quicker, but we have not invested as much as we should in dryers.”