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old corn crib in minnesota Corn cribs are enclosures that are used to dry and store feed corn.  After harvesting, corn still on the cob is placed in the crib and allowed to dry to prevent mildew and spoilage.

Historically, corn cribs were first used by Native Americans and usually had slats in the walls to allow air to circulate.  Slats or vent holes are used to this day to help the corn dry quickly, preventing mold or bacterial growth and decay.  The cribs sometimes had a roof and were elevated to keep the corn out of the weather and to prevent rodent infestation.  Early corn cribs were constructed of wood in a square or rectangular shape, often with sides that angled outward at the top.

Today, corn cribs are constructed of wood, concrete, metal, and a variety of other materials, often in round cylinders or silos.  They are made in a wide range of sizes, with smaller cribs accommodating a small farm's or ranch's needs and large cribs being used at co-ops and grain companies storage locations.  These cribs are usually large barns containing many storage bins of corn.  They usually provide some sort of natural or mechanical ventilation system or dryers that allow the corn to dry quickly, to a moisture level of 13% or lower, preventing the growth of harmful microorganisms.

While they date back hundreds of years, corn cribs continue to be vitally important to the agricultural industry, and there will continue to be a need for newer and larger structures.

Corn Crib References


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