Harvesting is the time when the farmers are happy because the matured grain is going to earn them profits and they are going to get the fruits of their hard labor. There is always a dilemma either to store the grains at a high temperature or keep them in cool conditions at a low temperature. During winter seasons such as November and December, when the temperature is about 34 to 40 F, it is better to store them in cold conditions rather than drying and aerating as the outside cold temperature will hamper the storing of the grains at high temperatures. Thus, to store the grain in the bin during winters effectively, the farmers must make use of suitable farming equipment including grain storage equipment to monitor the temperature and keep a track of the same.
How to cool the grains when storing them in the bin?
When you are all set to store the grains in the bin, it is important to follow certain tips that help in the effective storage of the grains. While the shelf life of the grains is enhanced, there are minimal possibilities of losing the grains due to molds, the infestation of pests, etc. Let us go into the details of storing the grains in cold conditions using the following tips and tricks:
When the average air temperature is about 20 degrees Fahrenheit cooler than the temperature of the grain, it is the right time to cool the grain. For winter storage of the grain, you may repeat this process till the temperature of the grain is about 30 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit. The cold storage of the grains is successful in minimizing the activities of not only mold but also the activities of insects and pests. However, care must be taken, as the temperature below 30 degrees Fahrenheit tend to form ice in the grain which is not right.
When the grains are cool down, the cooling front keeps moving in a wave through the bin. Here the hours that are needed for cooling the bin can be assessed by a simple calculation that is cubic feet per minute of airflow per bushel of grain in the bin is divided by 15 i.e. cfm/ bu.
Where bins are arranged for drying, the cooling front will pass through the bin in a time that is less than one day. However, the bins that have small fans may need aeration for a week or more. For instance, if the fan offers 0.15 cfm/bu then the estimated time required for cooling the bin will be around 15 / 0.15 which is equal to 100 hours which ultimately means about 4 days at a stretch.
‘Coring’ of the Bin
It’s recommended that the bin should be cored after it has been filled with the grain for storing by removing about half from the peak height. Leveling the grains at the top and talking out the grains from the center to create a ‘cone’ allows better aeration and enhance the shelf life of the stored grains. Ensure that there are no bridges and prevent all the bridges when storing the grains.
Cover the fan
Once the cooling cycle is done, it is better to cover the fans in order to prevent the entry of rain, air as well as snow into the bin. This is necessary to prevent any spoilage, or loss of grains due to weather conditions as well as other factors such as insects, pests, rodents, molds, etc. It is always advisable to store the grains that are properly dried and cooled down grains, especially during winter and spring.
Using the best grain storage equipment
When storing the grain, ensure that you are using reliable and premium-quality grain storage equipment as manufactured by trusted and renowned manufacturers like Farm Shop Mfg. whose range of Grain Temp Guard products are widely used and effective in storing the grain. Grain Temp Guard Alarm System DT / HT, EndZone Fan Control, Grain Temp Guard Lithium 9V Battery, Grain Temp Guard Probes and Cables, etc. are some of the products that are helpful in detecting the temperature as well as the moisture content of the grains when stored in the bin.
Finally, it is important to maintain a regular monitoring and tracking system of the grains to ensure that the suitable temperature and moisture content are maintained. This is required for enhancing the shelf life of the grains as well as to retain the quality of grains. Because only good quality of the grain can prevent loss of grains as well as fetch profits to the farmers.