Producers should have an idea how much drying their corn will cost when they make drying and marketing decisions.
Ken Hellevang, North Dakota State University Extension Service agricultural engineer, provides the following drying cost estimates and advice to assist producers in making those decisions:
As a rule of thumb you can estimate high-temperature drying energy costs per bushel per point of moisture removed by multiplying the propane price per gallon by 0.022. For example, the cost of using $1.90-per-gallon propane is 4.2 cents per bushel per point of moisture ($1.90 per gallon x 0.022).
Determine the estimated energy cost to dry corn per bushel by multiplying the cost per point of moisture removed by the points removed. The energy cost per bushel to dry corn from 25 percent to 15 percent (10 points) is 42 cents per bushel (10 points x 4.2 cents per bushel per point of moisture). Total drying costs are higher since they include both energy costs and the fixed or capital costs.
“Drying costs are affected by many variables, so these numbers should be considered as estimates,” Hellevang says.
“Accurate records of fuel and other energy costs, as well as the amount of corn dried, including initial and final moisture contents, enable drying management.”
The NDSU Extension Service has more detailed information on corn drying and storageat http://www.ag.ndsu.edu/extension-aben/documents/Corn_Drying_and_Storage_Tips_for_2011.pdf
Microsoft Excel spreadsheets on grain storage and drying are available from the University of Arkansas website http://www.aragriculture.org/storage_drying/default.htm.
This spreadsheet, http://www.aragriculture.org/storage_drying/corn_drying_storage_pass_dryer.xlsx, will help you determine your cost of drying and storage by factoring in shrink, propane, electric and fixed costs by allowing you to input the fall harvest price and the projected grain price at a future sale date and give you a value which is your benefit or cost from drying and storing grain.