Since grain can be in contact with storage bins for a long time, pay extra attention to cleaning these structures before storing the new crop. Here is some advice from Curtis Young with Ohio State University Extension’s Agronomic Crops Team.

• Remove any grain or grain dust from inside the bins by sweeping or vacuuming empty bins and brushing down walls.

• Pay close attention to cracks and crevices, ledges over doors, and  hollow-tube ladder rungs on or in which grain could have been trapped from the previous storage seasons.

• Clear debris from fans, aeration ducts, exhausts and, when possible, beneath slotted floors.

• Dispose of all debris in a lawful manner and away from the storage facility.

Sanitation outside of bins is just as important as cleaning the inside of bins.

• Inspect storage structures for signs of deterioration. Check for leaks and holes through which insects, birds or rodents can gain easy access to the stored grain, or through which rain and snow can drip or blow onto the grain and produce wet spots that lead to mold growth.

• Do not allow vegetation (weeds, shrubs, etc.) to grow up against the outside of the bin, as this can harbor insects and rodents.

• Bare ground covered with gravel or cement is preferred, but shortmown grass is tolerable.

• Remove any spilled grain from around the outside of the bin and storage facility.