Storing Corn : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

Will the stored corn attract mice and or bugs. I am thinking about buying a corn stove but I have some reservations about the corn I will have to store.

Thanks, Mike

-- MM (, March 12, 2002


I remember Gpa keeping it "high and dry"... also it needed to be rotated around every so often or it would start to compost... build up to much heat which would eventually cause it to rot/sour. He used a shovel but commercial silos use powered augers.

-- otter360 (, March 12, 2002.

A new, galvanized metal trash can will keep out pests especially if it is stored indoors.

-- Mark in West Central Ohio (, March 12, 2002.

How much corn are you going to store? Are you growing it your self or buying it by the bag, or by the wagon load?? If I remember right the corn used in stoves had to be a particular moisture content or in a range, 12%-16%?????? The lower the moisture the longer it stores for sure but I'd guess the faster it burns too. I know the manager of our local feed store buys his stove corn from my neighbor because the store's corn is too high in moisture. If your growing it yourself getting the storage moisture right will be tricky, you could crib the cobs, or get the grain corn custom dried and store it in a hopper tank. Buying it by the bag seems the most practical, and perhaps your stove won't be as fussy! Metal garbage can would seem to be the answer for small amounts alright.

-- Ross (, March 12, 2002.

We have started storing our feed grain in broken chest freezers. Mouse and Bug proof, if you don't have bugs to begin with. it is important that the moisture level be low in what you are storing. With Corn it would be wise to shock it for a good while. As a precaution, opening the freezer for an hour or so could help.

Little Bit Farm

-- Little bit Farm (, March 12, 2002.

Yes, it will attract mice, rats, and bugs unless properly stored; unfortunately I speak from experience. We stored several bags in an old van we have--big mistake. Rats & mice ate through the firewall in the front and got in along with their friends the grain moths. What a stinky mess that was! We also stored some in a 55 gallon drum that somehow got water in it (we haven't figured that one out yet), it had to be tossed. The galvanized trash cans are good advice to be sure; just be sure no water can get into them. Much success to you.

-- Sharon (, March 12, 2002.

There has been a lot of comments on corn stoves at 2 ag sites - // & // - these are farmers who want to see new markets for their corn so they will be pro-burning it, but there are some there with experience.

Since I store several thousand bushels at a time, I probably can't directly help you with small amounts. :) Yes it can attract critters, it must be under 15% moisture - preferably 14% for long term storage & you won't have any heating or spoiling problems.


-- paul (, March 12, 2002.

Just a thought....We store our corn in covered gravity boxes in the machine shed. Hubby brings the corn in by the 5 gallon bucketful. Avoids rodent problems in the house.

Last year he build a gravity box in our basement...boy, did that attract all kinds of hairy things! Eww!

-- Lisa in WI (, March 12, 2002.

No one has brought this up, but it's good to remind all that fuel corn (and animal feed corn, for that matter) can contain feces and other 'things' to a much greater extent than corn meant for human consumption. Bottom line, don't be grinding and baking with your stove fodder.


-- Mark in West Central Ohio (, March 12, 2002.

Storing corn for a stove is not a problem if you keep a few things in mind. 1. Corn at 14% moisture still has over a gallon of water in it per bushel. 2. If you keep the corn outside, it will get a lot of temperature changes over a winter. 3. If you do not provide for aereation the temperature changes will extract the water from the kernels and cause spoilage. With that said, store your corn in a critter proof container, just do not seal it. Use screen wire on top to allow for ventilation. If you can cut down on temperature variations it will retard spoilage. Do not put a solid lid over corn as it will allow water to condense and drip down. On a cold dry day blow air through the corn or stir it to help. Good luck

-- Dave (, March 12, 2002.

Actually, stove corn is animal corn is human corn. It's all the same stuff. Except for the Starlink junk, and don't get me started on that!

-- Sharon in SD (, March 12, 2002.

Yeap, the only real difference is how clean it is, my grand father, stored it well and the top of the stack [bags] was for people to eat, it was the dryest thus the cleanest, then the animals got what they needed, then the chickens got theirs after the cows etc, because they could pick over and eat the pieces that where still good and the bugs, the last of it was picked over for any to plant in the garden, and the rest tossed out to rot,

-- Thumper/inOKC (, March 13, 2002.

Welllllllllll yes and no corn is graded screened cleaned dried airated. The starch plants do pay on a scale for quality, and reject corn is generally used for animal feeds. Kernal size, moisture content, spoilage, how clean it is from cracked corn and red dog, all makes it either people corn or cattle corn. I thought Starlink got it's self certified for human consumption? No? Bet it burns OK! LOL

-- Ross (, March 13, 2002.

Starlink is a dead end. However, it might have gotten an appoval for 3% or less of a sample of corn. Since it cross polinates (duh) it is hard to say any growing plants are 100% this or that. The approval might have been for allowing traces in the corn.

Not much yellow corn is used for human food. Almost all goes to livestock or export. A lot is being used now for sweeteners tho, I guess that is human consumption.

I'm not sure how manure is supposed to get into the corn, during shipping?


-- paul (, March 13, 2002.

Hi Mike,

Some thoughts.

1. Storing corn is no more difficult that storing wood or oil. You just need to plan for it. Build a vermin tight bin with a vermin tight ventilator. The vent should attach to a perforated tube that at the very least runs through the center of the bin from the bottom to the top. You might find an old metal gravity wagon for this purpose and you might be handy enough to put the vent and lid together yourself. This asusmes that you want to store shelled corn. How many bushels do you think you will need?

2. If you want to store ear corn, you can use a crib. This will likely be more accessable to rodents and birds and insects, but you can invest in some small mesh screen to mitigate. Are you in the north? If you are then I would not worry much about insects in the winter assuming that you store your corn outside which I would recommend. You will need a sheller if you store ear corn. I have a friend in Ohio that grows corn for his stove and the family harvest the corn the old fashioned way and shovel it into a crib as above...that corn is better than wood because it heats about 4 times...

3. If you want to know the moisture content of your corn at any given point in time, weigh out a fixed measure of the corn, place iton a cookie shee tin tht over at about 250 - 300 degrees for a few hours and re weigh it. Actually you just need to re weigh periodically until you get a stable weight. Take the difference in the two weights and divide that by theoriginal weight, multiply by 100 and you have moisture %.

4. Don't buy corn in bags unless you can afford to. That is like buyng fuel oil in gallon cans except it is more expensive and less convenient. Fill your trailer or the back of your pickup or a bunch of garbage cans or something at the elevator to avoid premium prices...or get your neighbor to sell you a gravity wagon full...and see if you can store their wagon at yor place for the winter. You won't have to worry about moisture or birds if it is the wagon with just a tarp over it. You don't want to store corn over the summer anyway so...

5. For immediate in house storage, come up with a nice attractive bin that holds the bushel or five that you want to keep inside. Rodents won't be any more attracted to this than to the flour in your pantry. In summer though empty it out or make it a fairly air tight cover to keep moths out of it.

6. Invest in a small tower bin made of corrugated sheet metal up on legs. Put an auger beneath it that runs inside your house and deposits corn inside when you want it at the flip of a switch. You could do that for 250 bushels for under 2 grand I bet...less if you are handy. these bins are quite vermin proof if you close the loading port.


-- Oscar H. Will III (, March 14, 2002.

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