How to Calculate Grain Shrink


Calculating moisture shrink is a key component to successful grain marketing. Grain shrink is a percentage of weight loss due to drying and handling. Dry grain receives a higher dollar amount than wet grain, but will also weight less. It is imperative to determine whether grain will bring a higher price sold at its wet weight with high moisture, or should be dried and sold at a lower weight. Grain can be left in the field to dry or mechanically dried in a grain bin.

Things You'll Need

  • Weight of grain
  • Moisture tester
  • Calculator
  • Pencil
  • Paper

Calculate Shrinkage

  • Weigh your grain after harvesting. Write down the weight on a piece of paper. For example: 1,000 pounds of corn.

  • Test grain moisture using a hand-held moisture tester. Write down the amount of moisture on your paper. For example: 25 percent moisture or 250 pounds of water and 75 percent grain or 750 pounds of grain.

  • Test the moisture percentage after the grain has been dried. For example: 15 percent moisture. The grain has a 10 percent moisture loss or a loss of 100 pounds of water.

  • Subtract the new percentage of moisture from the total weight. For example: 100 - 15 = 85 percent dry grain.

  • Divide the total weight of grain by the new dry weight. For example: 750/.85 = 882 pounds.

  • Divide total moisture loss in pounds by initial weight and multiply by 100. For example: 100/1000 x 100 = 10 percent water shrink.

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