Every agronomist knows that the correct storage of grain is the basis for the safety of the crop. Unsuitable conditions can lead to huge losses. When organizing the storage process, it is necessary to take into account all the subtleties and peculiarities in order to exclude the possibility of loss of profit when the crop is already in the warehouse.
How does moisture affect grain quality?
Moisture is a determining indicator of the effectiveness of crop storage technology in pantries. The main task of the agronomist is to avoid critical value. High humidity can lead to a complete loss of crops. Ideally, this indicator should not be higher than the permissible value.
Depending on the type of crop and the period the grain is in the pantry, the moisture content varies in the range of 12-16%. For oilseeds this figure should be no more than 6–8%, for cereals stored for up to 1 year - about 14–15%, for legumes - in the region of 15–16%. If the crop is stored for more than 12 months, the moisture tolerance range is reduced by 1%.
Ways to control the correct storage
In addition to moisture, you need to pay attention to other criteria when storing grain in pantries. Failure to comply with the conditions can cause the spread of parasites and the development of diseases. All this leads to damage to the crop. To control the influence of harmful factors, methods of ventilation, aeration, cooling, as well as chemical disinfection and preservation are used.
Features of storage control:
1. For dry grain, the moisture level should be within the permissible value (not higher). Storage can be carried out in an open or confined space, as well as in a sealed form. The control is carried out by means of aeration, ventilation, dressing, canning, disinfection, etc. These can be both seeds and food, industrial or fodder grain.
2. For wet grain, the permissible moisture content may be 2-3% higher. For storage, both limited space and sealed containers are used. Two methods of storage control are allowed - refrigeration or chemical preservation.
Aeration is a process of ventilation, which can be either artificial or passive (in order to prevent the spread of decay products of the green mass). Carbon dioxide, ethylene or water vapor in general negatively affects the health of cereals and contributes to the spread of harmful microorganisms and bacteria. Airing helps eliminate serious problems. In fact, it is one of the simplest ways to heal to help protect the crop before it is sold.
Ventilation technology is the process of blowing the grain mass with an air stream. Using this method is especially important if the moisture level in the pantries exceeds the norm. The technology allows you to dry grain, as well as cool and saturate it with oxygen. This provides optimal conditions for storing the crop, but ventilation systems must be installed in the warehouse to implement this method.
Another control method, cooling, is to blow off the grain using cold air. This requires ventilation systems or refrigeration equipment. This technology guarantees the health of the crop, as well as its preservation for a long time in good condition. The cooling method eliminates the possibility of the development of harmful microorganisms. If the bacteria were already in the grain, they will be destroyed. This is a great way to eliminate parasites. Cooling is a versatile option to preserve the quality of the crop
Chemical disinfection technology involves the suppression or elimination of parasites and other harmful microorganisms using chemicals. Special reagents eliminate pests developing among the decay products of green mass. Chemical disinfection is a radical option, relevant in cases where other methods cannot help.
The following technologies are used to accomplish the task:
• fumigation of grain mass;
• aeration of the pantry;
• processing of the crop with solutions;
• decomposition of tablets.
This method can be used even before the grain is in the hangars. To eliminate any storage complications, the canning method can be used. This technology allows you to stop the activity of enzymes of germs of parasites and harmful organisms. Preserving makes it possible to exclude damage to wet grain, as well as reduce the loss of nutrients. In fact, a canned crop is in a state of suspended animation, in which biological changes stop.
Grain storage modes and their features
External factors such as air temperature and oxygen can affect the quality of the harvested crop. Pests, various parasites and microorganisms are actively developing in conditions in which humidity standards are exceeded. Therefore, the farmer is faced with a serious task - to properly organize storage to maintain the necessary conditions in the pantry.
There are three valid modes:
1. Dry. There is no free moisture in such grain, therefore the probability of the spread of microorganisms is excluded. This mode does not allow biological processes. When the crop is dry, it can be stored for a long time. But do not forget about maintaining and controlling the necessary condition of the grain.
2. Chilled. In this case, the technology of thermoanabiosis is used - preservation at low temperatures. This method is also quite effective for the vital activity of grains and preventing the development of microorganisms. But it is important to observe the temperature of the mass, which should be no more than 10 degrees. The sudden changes that are characteristic of the off-season can also negatively affect the grain. The chilled state mode is relevant for those cases when there is no way to quickly dry the crop.
3. Without access to air. This technology is based on the principle of anoxyanabiosis - self-preservation. The pantry in which the crop will be stored is pre-filled with carbon dioxide or other gases to create a vacuum in the room. In such conditions, when oxygen is completely absent, microorganisms, parasites, pests and insects cannot develop. The grain retains its qualities necessary for its subsequent processing. But it should be borne in mind that sowing lots in the absence of air access are not allowed to be stored, since the seeds lose their germination.
There are different storage methods. Their choice is determined by the volume of the harvested crop, as well as by the design features of the pantry. Depending on the manufacturer and the goals pursued, the storage can be either closed or open. The second option is relevant only for recently harvested grain. As a rule, trenches or piles are used for this. The closed method implies long-term storage of the crop in a warehouse with concrete walls or in metal silos.
The most popular storage methods are:
1. Burts. We are talking about placing crops in bulk or in containers on an open area. If there is a danger of precipitation, a canopy is installed over the shoulder. This method is more related to the forced, if the agronomist does not have a stationary grain storage. The main disadvantage is the ability to influence the environment on the state of the crop. An open storage method is dangerous by an increase in moisture, as well as the appearance and spread of pests and parasites. In such conditions, it is almost impossible to control these moments.
2. Trenches. The optimal option for storing crops without access to oxygen is often used in the manufacture of feed. But it is not allowed to store seed grain in such conditions - this is the main disadvantage of trenches. During long-term storage, the mass becomes silage, which is suitable only for feeding livestock.
3. Concrete tanks. Such a pantry allows you to store large amounts of grain for a long time in proper conditions. This option is the most practical and acceptable for creating a granary. Concrete tanks provide the necessary microclimate for demanding crop temperatures. Some oil crops cannot withstand extreme heat. Concrete compositions are used for a long time until they begin to deteriorate. This is one of the best options as the crop does not absorb moisture or heat up.
4. Metal silos. This storage method is one of the most popular among domestic agronomists. Granaries in the form of metal containers are being built quite quickly. Compared to concrete compositions, ventilation in them is of higher quality and more efficient.
Storage conditions must be carefully controlled, since the quality and safety of the crop depends on them. Sometimes farmers expect a profitable period for the sale of grain, and before that they keep it in open areas or in granaries. The presence of the premises does not yet guarantee the safety of the crop. In any case, his condition must be constantly monitored.
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