QU: Should I Be Worried About Stored Canola and Flax Spoiling on a 31C Day in May

Excellent question that we usually do not have to think about in early May!

As most grain is still cold in the bin and with the rapid increase in outside temperature, the potential for spoilage could still occur in stored canola and flax still in the bin from 2015 harvest.

If you think this might be an issues, check what is the seed moisture and the temperature is again. The 5C, 8.5% moisture canola in March had no risk of spoilage, but a 35C, 8.5% moisture canola does.  Flax is susceptible to spoilage as well, if the grain gets very warm in the bin and the moisture is over 8%.   If things are all good today, check in a couple of days again if the May heat wave continues and consider turning on the aeration fan and open up the bin hatch at the top of the bin to let humidity escape.

This question came in as a concern over the potential of condensation to form on the bin walls from the hot outside air hitting the cold grain in the bin.  Aeration could be used as a tool with the hot, but very dry air to warm the grain slowly and move some of the potential humidity out through the top vent or hatch.  Monitoring though is key and should continue until the grain is delivered to catch spoilage issues. A great resource on more about aeration and grain in storage can be found on the PAMI (Prairie Agricultural Machinery Institute) website www.pami.ca/crops/storage and at the Canadian Grains Commission https://www.grainscanada.gc.ca/storage-entrepose/ssg-de-eng.htm

Safe storage chart for canola and flax

Submitted by Anastasia Kubinec, Oilseed Crop Specialist, Manitoba Agriculture

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Can Hot, but Dry Canola Still Spoil in the Bin?

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




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