Prevent Moisture Migration in Grains with Proper Aeration and Enhance the Shelf Life of the Grains

grain storage equipment

When storing grains, there are various things that must be kept in mind for maintaining the quality as well as quantity of the grains. There are several steps that can be taken when you decide to put the grains in the storage bins. From preparing the storage bin with cleaning, updating, and restoring there are various points that are considered for the effective storage of the grains. Using grain bin fan control and other grain storage equipment is useful.

Once the grains enter the bin, maintaining the temperature and moisture content are a major concern. A variation in the temperature and humidity levels inside the storage bin may cause huge losses to the producers.

Aeration of the grain is a crucial step for the storage of the grains. In the process of aeration, the air is passed through the stored grains to add or remove the moisture and get the desired temperature.  Under the aeration process, the storage bin fans are used to run for a couple of days to months till the ideal temperature is reached. There are various types of aeration processes that include natural aeration or heated aeration for the grain.

Why Aeration is necessary?

Aeration is necessary for maintaining the temperature and moisture content of the grains. So there is no development of mold, fungus, infestation of insects, pests, rodents, etc.  Aeration is one thing that is done frequently to check the quality of the grains.

Moisture migration is one thing that producer wants to prevent. Moisture migration refers to the movement of air and moisture from warmer spots to cold spots. This happens in reaction to the outside atmosphere temperature. When the temperature outside is warmer than the temperature of the grains, then the air from the sides of the walls and top moves inside. This creates a cooler temperature of the grains in the center.

Whereas, when the temperature outside the bin is colder than the warm air from the center moves towards the roof and towards the wall. This causes warmer temperatures of the grain in the center areas while the temperature of the grains near the walls and on the top remains cool.

Due to changes in the temperature and the moisture levels, there is a high risk of developing mold or fungus that destroy the stored grains. With aeration not only the grains are safe but their shelf life is also maintained for a longer period of time. As a result, you can store the grain for a long time, without them getting deteriorated.

How to do aeration?

Aeration is done using the fans in the bin or outside the bin. These fans are pretty huge in size to prevent maximum aeration to a large volume of grains. These fans are connected with various devices such as Grain Temp guard alarm system, Grain Temp guard probes, EndZone fan controls, etc.

EndZone fan control is a grain bin fan control system that is used to automatically operate the fan without human intervention. The fans keep running from days to a week on the basis of preset temperature levels. The EndZone turns the fan ON and OFF according to these preset temperature levels. The EndZone fan controls are connected to the Grain Temp Guard Alarm System (DT and HT) as well as grain bin sensors to maintain the ideal temperature levels. Whereas the Grain Temp Guard probes alarm (DT and HT) and connected to the alarm system to detect the temperature of the grains.

How often should you aerate the grains?

There are no strict or hard and fast rules when it comes to aerating the grains. Ideally, the grains should be checked once a week to find out the condition of the grain.  To find out if there are any changes in the moisture content or temperature, one of the easiest ways is to check if there are water droplets on the inside surface of the bin roof. These water droplets are the result of condensation that takes place due to the movement of air. As air carries moisture from hotter spots to the colder spots.

Therefore, it is suggested that the signs of condensation should be checked a minimum of once a week.  Also, check for any foul smell coming from the bin as it signifies the presence of mold and fungus. Remove fines and debris from the bin as well as remove destroyed grains immediately.