Skip to main content


Grain Operations

  • GM-Free Feed Can Lead to Increased GHG Emissions, Price of Food & More

    New research shows that if more U.S. food companies require feed for the livestock and poultry that they source their meat, milk and eggs from to be free from genetically modified (GM) ingredients, then greenhouse gas emissions on farms could rise, grain elevator and feed mill product handling and production requirements would be greater and the price of meat, milk and eggs for consumers could increase.

  • Think Safety First When Working near Grain Bins

    In this article, Dirk Maier, professor of agriculture and biosystems engineering with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, provides some basic safety guidance.

  • Grain Ops: Grain elevator of the future - Part 1

    This article, the first in a series on grain elevators of the future, will focus on two key technologies and innovations that will affect the grain elevator of the future: information and communication technologies (ICT), and autonomous vehicles and transportation. 

  • Grain Ops: Grain elevator of the future - Part 2

    This article discusses automatic grain receiving, sampling, grading, and smarter equipment maintenance. 

  • Grain Ops: Grain elevator of the future - Part 3

     This article focuses on real-time wireless monitoring and managing of stored grain quality. Future articles will focus on real-time tracking of inventory, lights out and hygienic operations, and digital services.

  • Grain Operations: Grain storage management at your fingertips

    This article is about a grain aeration and management app which can help with air-grain moisture relationships, cooling aeration predictions, aeration weather forecasting, and more.

    This app is intended to serve as an engineering tool for grain storage and aeration processes. It was jointly developed by the co-authors of this article representing the Grain Postharvest Group located at the Experimental Research Station of INTA Balcarce, Argentina, and the Post-Harvest Engineering and Feed Technology Group of the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering and the Iowa Grain Quality Initiative at Iowa State University.

  • Grain Operations: Causes and prevention of stored grain fires

    This article teaches about stored grain fires with sections on self heating/thermal decomposition of stored grain, best practices, and containment for stored grain fires. 

  • Grain operations: Storing imported corn from the United States

    In this article, learn about storing imported corn from the United States including a discussion of moisture and mold management, relative humidity and mold management, ambient and chilled aeration, fines and dust management, coring and un-peaking, cleaning and screening, and monitoring stored grain. 

  • S.L.A.M.: Sanitation, Loading, Aeration, Monitoring For Grain Quality Management

    S.L.A.M. stands for sanitation, loading, aeration, and monitoring. This acronym encompasses four areas of best practices for grain quality management.

  • Temperature Sensors and Cables: Number and placement are important to effectively monitor stored grain

    This first article in this series focuses on temperature sensors and explores the number needed on a cable as well as cable placement to effectively monitor the quality of stored grain.

  • Grain operations: Temperature cable placement

    The number and placement of sensors, and the interpretation of sensor readings, are key to effectively monitoring conditions in a stored grain mass and managing optimal windows of aeration based on real-time weather data. 

    The second article in this series focuses on the placement of temperature cables to effectively monitor the grain quality during the aeration and storage periods. 

Feed Technology

  • Building a Mill to Make the Products You Need

    In this article, we will determine the steps needed to produce the required products and develop a block flow of how the processes and steps are connected. The products made include mash feed, pelleted feed, textured feed, processed whole grains (rolled), premixes and bulk or bagged shipment. Using this information, the mill must be able to use grinding, flaking (for textured products), batching, mixing, pelleting, texturing and premixing systems.

  • Feed Mill Design: Receiving Systems

    The article will focus on ingredient receiving and suggestions for receiving system equipment. Ingredients may be received in several ways, including bulk, bag, tote and liquids. Non-liquid ingredients are unloaded through dump systems, bag and tote off-loading to a warehouse location, while liquids are received in bulk shipments or small totes.

  • Feed Operations: Needed Ingredients and Storage

    This article considers the grain storage requirements and overhead ingredient storage needed for a feed mill. The article also discusses microsystems and bagged ingredient receiving.

  • Feed Operations: Planning a New Feed Mill

    This article describes the considerations necessary when designing a new feed mill.

  • Feed Ops: Batching and Mixing Systems

    Millers must determine the mixture volume for each formula to be weighed and mixed in the system.

  • Feed Ops: Choosing Batching and Mixing Systems

    This article is the first of a two-part series on the batching and mixing system for this feed mill. The series will include information on sizing the equipment and identifying the processing times needed to batch and mix those poultry and swine formulas.

  • Feed Ops: Creating a Batching System

    How to size feeders to support required production design capacity.

  • Feed Ops: Ingredient preparation

    Before being used in feed formulas, the dry ingredients need to be of similar particle size and distribution to blend and stay properly distributed in the formulation when mixed or further processed such as pelleting.

  • Feed Ops: Pelleting System Points

    Examining the pellet milling process from start to finish.

  • Feed Ops: When It's Time to Build...

    Whether it’s an expansion or greenfield project, choosing the engineer and builder is of critical importance.

  • Feed Pelleting Reference Guide

    Everything you need to know about feed pelleting in a convenient, downloadable guide, from sources you trust. The free Feed Pelleting Reference Guide is from WATT Global Media and K-State University, as individual, topical PDF files within each of the six sections of the guide.

  • New Feed Facility Construction Tips

    Equipment selection must include maintenance considerations.