Grain Monitoring – An Overview

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Grain storage necessitates constant attention, just like a crop does during the growing season. Regular monitoring allows for early problem detection and management, which helps to prevent significant grain loss.  

As a result, there are no unpleasant surprises when it is time to unload the grain. If the grains are spoiled at the eleventh hour, you may also have to face the expense of grain buyers rejecting your product because of its quality. 

Functions of grain monitoring  

Used in segregation of grains 

To properly store grain, grain condition and grade must be determined as soon as it leaves the paddock. Grain with a lot of moisture needs to be dried or blended. Grain that has been heated up needs to be cooled down. The segregation of grain of varying quality will be advantageous.  

Screenings and tests 

You can ask what parameters it is close to being downgraded or upgraded when you know the grade. Something like protein, screenings, or test weight may be testable and manageable on the farm. It is helpful to have this information handy during harvest to help sort grain and keep it within the grade. Additionally, mixing grain from different parts of the paddock with grain from the same area can help raise the overall quality. 

Checking for insects 

It is difficult to track down grain pests because they are small and quick to move. Some prefer the dark, but others can be found on the surface. There are a few methods for spotting them. Before loading, secure the trap so it does not get misplaced or forgotten about. A small amount of the trap should protrude from the grain’s surface to catch insects crawling across it and those hiding beneath it. 

Temperature 

Monitoring grain temperature is important not only for controlling aeration but can also reveal the presence of mold or insects in the grain stack. Mold thrives in warm, humid environments, which are created by insect activity. It’s important to measure grain temperature consistently, so go beneath the surface each time. Track down test results to see if any temperature spikes need to be investigated. Taking grain samples from the storage facility traps for collecting data 

Do not collect samples from the areas that are most likely to be infested by insects or mold. These areas are usually found around access points, such as doors, hatches, aeration fan inlets, and filling and emptying points.  

Storage of sampled grains 

At the very top of a grain silo, insects and mold can hide just below the grain’s surface. Since it’s the last place where aeration cooling or drying can reach, it’s subjected to sunlight heating the headspace, condensation from the headspace, and provides easy access for insects via the top lid, inspection hole, or vents. If you must climb to the top of a storage unit, make sure you are following all workplace health and safety guidelines. Never take samples from the top of the grain; always go beneath it.  Opening an outlet at the bottom of a silo allows a small amount of grain to escape.  While a sampling probe is ideal for collecting grain from the top of a silo, using one to climb a silo is often essential. 

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