A simulation study of corn production and low-temperature drying for Central Iowa
Two computer models, CORNSIM and FALDRY, were developed and used to conduct a simulation study of corn production and low-temperature drying for Central Iowa conditions. CORNSIM simulates a complete corn production enterprise. Given a specific management strategy, machinery capacity, and cropping season, CORNSIM simulates planting, crop development, yield, and harvesting. CORNSIM was developed to provide the simulated flow of harvested grain. FALDRY simulates a system of low-temperature corn drying bins. FALDRY inputs include bin specifications, weather data, and the incoming flow of harvested grain. FALDRY was developed to predict the success or failure of a low-temperature corn drying system and the amount of electrical energy it would consume;The simulation study addressed three major objectives: (1) Determine the relative benefits of additional fan power versus the use of supplement heat to enhance the performance of a low-temperature drying system. (2) Test the feasibility of designing a low-temperature drying system to match the corn harvesting capacity of a typical Central Iowa farming enterprise. (3) Develop the optimum daily filling strategy and design recommendations for a low-temperature corn drying system for Central Iowa;The following conclusions are given for Central Iowa conditions. It is expected the findings would be similar for most of the Corn Belt. (1) CORNSIM is a valid simulation model of a corn production enterprise. It can be used to determine the relative effects of changes in production strategy. (2) FALDRY is a valid simulation model of a low-temperature corn drying system. It has the flexibility to accommodate layer-filling and is able to predict the grain moisture profile. (3) The most efficient method of using electrical energy to increase drying rate, improve the probability of drying in the fall, and reduce grain deterioration is to increase fan power. (4) If the daily harvest rate is 1/16 or less of the total production, it is feasible to match the capacity of the harvesting and low-temperature drying system. (5) The following design criteria and management strategy are recommended for low-temperature corn drying systems: (a) Maximum grain depth of 16-20 feet. (b) Fan-power-to-grain ratio of 1.25 to 1.75 horsepower per 1000 bushels of bin storage capacity. (c) Use a high-performance axial fan (large bin may require 2 or more fans). (d) Follow the "controlled-filling strategy."