Grain stores play an essential role in farms. Therefore, bins should be constructed from high quality materials and the right management strategies should be used to make sure that stored produce remains in good condition. It is essential to dry grains before storing them and monitor their moisture content when they are in storage. It is also possible to dry grains after storing them in bins.
Even if farmers turn their attention to planting new crops, they should not forget about the grains they have stored. This is especially the case for corn that they may have stored with moisture content above 15 percent. Grain bin monitoring is essential because it helps maintain the quality of stored produce.
One of the ways to monitor grains is to sample cereal in the bin to check for signs of spoilage and determine its moisture content. You should check for signs of spoilage at the surface of the bin and up to six feet deep using a grain probe. When ambient temperatures are about 40 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit and the relative humidity is less than 75 percent, you should run the fans continuously.
If you intend to store farm produce through the summer months, make sure that you do not warm it above 60 degrees Fahrenheit. The other important thing to do is to ventilate the headspace of the bins at night to ensure that condensation does not take place at the surface. Condensation can lead to spoilage or crusting of grains. All grains should be cooled down in order to prevent condensation.
The main thing that causes stored grains to go out of condition is failing to control temperatures. Grains are good insulator and they therefore do not cool in a uniform manner when the temperatures outside a bin drop. Air close to the walls of bins cools and settles towards the bottom of the bins to create convection currents.
Afterwards, the air rises through the warm grain, picking up water vapor. It moves towards the surface, where grains are cooler. The moisture then condenses and this is what causes farm produce to get spoilt. The temperature of stored farm produce can be monitored by turning the produce or aerating the bins on a regular basis.
If the produce is stored with a moisture content that is above grade requirements, it can create an environment that is conducive to fungal growth and insect infestation. In order to determine the moisture content of stored produce, you should take samples from bins every three to four weeks after storage, if the produce is not aerated or turned. Take samples from a number of areas of the bulk and keep them in a sealed plastic container before testing.
If you are considering aerating or drying stored produce, pay attention to its physical characteristics. Factors such as grain class and storage configuration affect the static pressure and this in turn impacts the aeration fan requirements. In general, the total amount of time required to aerate stored produce properly changes as static pressure increases. You should seek guidance from sellers of aeration systems so that you can know the aeration or drying times for the grains you have stored.
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Author: Rosella CampbellThis author has published 24 articles so far.