With the extreme temperatures in the past week, harvested canola is coming off hot, hot, HOT! Reports of canola measuring in the mid to high 30s are common, as well as the canola being dry at 8% and very dry <6%.
Canola in the above situation, even though moisture is low, needs to be conditioned as soon as it is in the bin. Conditioning the seed, by turning on aeration fans will help move cooler air through the seeds, cooling in down. If grain if left hot and unattended at temperatures over 15C, there is a greater risk of spoilage. Using air movement will also help dry out any green weed material in the harvested seed, which will again help reduce spoilage in the canola, from the moisture in the weeds increasing moisture in pockets in your bin.
If you do not have aeration in your bin, leave the bin hatches on the top of the bin propped open, so hot air can escape. Close the hatches if it starts raining though. Also consider taking a truck load of canola out of the bin from the bottom and then auger back into the bin through the top hatch. This can ‘turn’ the grain and the act of augering will introduce cooler air into the canola and help cool it down.
In all situations, monitor the temperature and moisture of the canola in the bins closely. Canola keeps longer term if it is cooler than 15C and less than 8% moisture.
Canola Watch has more information in their September 2, 2015 post that can be could at http://www.canolawatch.org/2015/09/02/condition-canola-immediately-after-harvest/
Opposite situation – storing damp grain? Here is some information on steps to take. The article also has a good explanation on what is going on in the bin with air movement and how spoilage zones can occur: http://www.gov.mb.ca/agriculture/crops/production/drying-and-storage-of-damp-grain.html
Submitted by: Anastasia Kubinec, MAFRD Oilseed Specialist