According to an LSU AgCenter publication, “Managing Flooded Grain Bins,”, producers with flooded bins should first inspect the bin, including unloading and aeration equipment and the stored grain. Then contact your insurance company or disaster relief agency for information on documenting losses.

Grain exposed to floodwaters is likely to have sustained damage. Flood-soaked grain is not useable for feed or food due to contaminants that enter with the floodwater. LSU AgCenter says this grain should be destroyed, not blended. Contact local public health and sanitation officials for the best disposal process in your area.

The Food and Drug Administration allows for reconditioning (washing and drying at high temperatures) in cases where the floodwater did not remain long and did not contain contaminants. It is very rare to know for certain whether floodwater is clean, however.

Good grain on top of flooded grain must be removed from the top or side, not down through the damaged grain. Remove grain that is in good condition before attempting to do anything with the portion damaged by floodwaters.

Rain damaged grain, which may occur when roofs of storage structures are damaged during storms, can be saved by drying and cleaning. This grain should be tested for mycotoxins before use. Use reconditioned grain immediately.

Swelling grain inside a bin can shear bolts and elongate holes. Look for signs such as stretched caulking seals, misaligned doors or similar structural problems.

Bin foundations can shift, float or deteriorate from flooding, so inspect structures and foundations carefully. Expect electric wiring, controls and fans to be ruined. Do not energize wet components. Be sure the power is off before touching any electrical components of flooded systems.