Wednesday, 23 August 2017 14:18

Tips for producers who are managing stored grain

Written by  Lyndon Hicks, Regional Crops Specialist
Rate this item
(0 votes)
Wheat spoilage occurs when initial temperature ranges from zero to 28 degrees Celsius with respective moisture from 18 to 10 per cent moisture content. Wheat spoilage occurs when initial temperature ranges from zero to 28 degrees Celsius with respective moisture from 18 to 10 per cent moisture content. Image contributed

There a number of factors contributing to how well grain stores until it is delivered to the customer. Producers are familiar with the factors such as moisture content and grain temperature. One factor often neglected is the size of storage bins we use and its potential impact on storage problems.


It was not that long ago the average bin size was 3,000 bushels or smaller. Now 5,000-7,000 bushel bins are most common with many even larger up to 80,000-plus bushels. This increase in bin size increases the potential for storage problems related to moisture migration in particular. Bins with a smaller diametre may cool rapidly and have reduced potential for moisture migration to occur. Meanwhile larger diametre bins are likely going to have a larger temperature differential that may lead to increased moisture migration creating problems with moulds and insects.
It is not uncommon for larger bins to have grain temperatures in the centre that have not changed much since harvest, even though outside air temperatures are close to freezing.
Hopefully this fall all the grain goes into the bin in ideal conditions, but it seems every year some areas will have grain that is marginally dry and hotter or cooler.
The normally recommended management practices still apply:
• Manage the amount of foreign material (ex. green weeds) going into the bins at filling. Accumulations of these are often the start of storage problems.
• Cool grain down to within 5°C of the outside air temperature as quickly as possible. This equalizes the temperature within the bin and can be accomplished through operation of aeration systems or moving grain. As outside temperatures decrease you may wish to cool again until the entire mass is close to 0°C for storage through the winter. 10°C and cooler is approximately the temperature when insect activity stops.
• When grain temperatures are more than 10° C monitor on weekly basis for changes in grain temperature. Pay particular attention to the larger bins or bins with marginally dry grain.
The charts at right show safe storage for wheat and canola. Take note to the relationship between moisture levels and temperature for each of the crops.
Safe storage charts for all crops can be viewed at https://www.grainscanada. gc.ca/storage-entrepose/ssg-de-eng.htm.
For more information on managing stored grain, contact your local Regional Crops Specialist or the Agriculture Knowledge Centre at 1-866-457-2377.

Read 631 times

More Ag News...