Recent heavy rainfall through parts of the southern cropping region is likely to result in growers having to deal with grain going into storage with high moisture content.
High moisture in stored grain can lead to mould and insect growth, so storage experts are advising growers to take prompt action to avoid damage.
Southern cropping region grain storage specialist Peter Botta said monitoring grain moisture and temperature daily would enable early detection of mould and insect development.
‘‘Grain at typical harvest temperatures of 25 to 30°C and moisture content greater than 13 to 14 per cent provides ideal conditions for mould as well as insects,’’ Mr Botta said.
‘‘Although many growers don’t have the equipment and infrastructure in place for drying grain, there are some other measures they can take to reduce the risk of grain being damaged in storage.’’
Grain that is above the standard safe storage moisture content of 12.5 per cent can be dealt with by:
■Blending: Mixing high-moisture grain with low-moisture grain, then aerating;
■Aeration cooling: Grain of moderate moisture, up to 15 per cent moisture content, can be held for a short term under aeration cooling until drying equipment is available;
■Aeration drying: Large volumes of air force a drying front through the grain in storage and slowly removes moisture. Supplementary heating can be added. Aeration drying requires airflow rates in excess of 15litres per second per tonne.
■Continuous flow: Drying grain is transferred through a dryer, which uses a high volume of heated air to pass through the continual flow of grain.
■Batch drying: Usually a transportable trailer drying 10 to 20tonnes of grain at a time with a high volume of heated air, which passes through the grain and out perforated walls.