Farm Life Terms: The Grain Dryer

The Grain Dryer

These phrases were often heard around our small Arkansas town: 

“….stopped by the dryer…”

“We’ll go by the dryer to get you a coke.”

“Mr. Eugene at the dryer….”

“…..told me at the dryer…”

As a kid, it never occurred to me to ask for an explanation.  It’s just what I had always heard.  

Come to find out, the grain dryer is a drying, storing and loading facility for grain (rice, corn, soybeans, milo, etc).  

Why do we need a grain dryer?

If a farmer doesn't have storage facilities on his own land, he can bring it to an area grain dryer.  While grain is stored in huge silos, augers sift through and aerate the batch to reduce moisture enough to be ready for processing.  The farmer pays for this service until he has contracted with a buyer who then sends a truck to pick up the load of grain and sell it to a food mill.

Mr. Eugene's Grain Dryer

I was surprised to learn this information because the only “dryer” I knew of was the small, yellow office building where Mr. Eugene worked and gave me cokes.  He still brings my parents vegetables from his personal garden every year.  He was always so nice to me.  

“Hi Kristie,” he would say, every time I came in with my dad as we gathered with the other farmers who were huddled around their coffee cups and a small TV watching the market numbers and the weather forecasts.  

The “regulars” were always there who could be counted on to pass the latest information about everyone’s crops.  I remember my dad never wanted to share too much information.  He kept his decisions close to the vest, so we wouldn’t stay too long.

Other Ag Related Businesses

Agriculture related businesses dot the landscape in rural areas.  We see cotton gins, grain dryers, silos and private grain bins throughout our travels.  When I pass these as I'm driving on the road, I often wonder, "What exactly goes on in those places?  And who works there?  And where does all that product go next?  And how is it transported?"  

It's always an adventure to have the opportunity to tour one of the facilities and observe the ingenuity that is displayed in the processes.  The field of agriculture is constantly improving itself.