Wet Weather Harvesting and Conditioning Damp Grain
Friday 13th July 2012
As another wet harvest looms, it is important that growers remember a few key points when it comes to the storage of grain using low volume ventilation. Polycool grain ventilation pedestals can be used to hold damp grain (up to 18%) as long as adequate fan numbers are being used, and fans are being run continuously for the first month after combining. During this initial period grain will rapidly heat up and spoil if fans are insufficient in size, quantity and running hours. We would recommend an Evolution VBW 7 1.1kw fan for every 2 standard Polycool pedestals, as a minimum, and ideally a fan on every pedestal, if the grain is coming in between 16% and 18%. Do not be tempted to turn fans off if the weather is wet or relative humidity (rh) levels high. Low volume ventilation will rarely re-wet grain if used in high rh situations. By not running the fans on damp days, growers will risk the crop heating up and possible closure of air ways through the grain. Once this has happened, the crop will have to be moved and restacked before effective grain ventilation can once again begin.
Damp grain must be viewed as a volatile mass and should not be left unchecked for more than 24 hours. Regular temperature checks should be carried out, paying close attention to those areas furthest from the pedestal. If the fans are being used to suck air through the grain then you will be able to tell by the quality of the air coming out of the fan if all is well with the grain below you.
Once the heat has been removed and the crop stabilised you will probably find that moisture contents will have dropped to around 16% and possibly lower. At this point grain will need to either be dried in a high volume system or sold and accept the buyer’s deduction. Ambient air drying will only be effective until the end of September, at this point lower air temperatures will not allow the removal of any more moisture.
Polycool grain ventilation pedestals provide you with a flexible holding and storage solution that can be used pre or post drying. Users must remember that it is the fans that move the air not the pedestals, the more fans the better and with grain prices rising an investment in a few more crop ventilation fans will pale into insignificance when compared with the financial implications of a rejected load.
- Get the fans checked over and ensure impellers are clean and cabling intact.
- Make sure you have enough pedestals to ventilate your predicted tonnage
- Pre harvest store clean is essential
- Get the grain moisture meter checked and calibrated
- Get the grain temperature probe checked
Low volume ventilation is low cost and in high demand at this time of year, don’t get caught short this harvest.