The following is a portion of an article by Lizzie Thelwell
COOLING stored wheat grain in silos with aeration fans reduces insect propagation and preserves grain quality, according to recent research.
Kondinin Group General Manager Research Ben White says their pilot study has revealed cooling grain has numerous benefits for growers.
“Fitting silos with cooling fans and aeration controllers reduces grain temperature which reduces the number of insect pests in the grain,” Mr White says.
“We found aeration also has improved seed viability [seed’s ability to germinate], over seed stored in conventional non-aerated storage, reducing the seed losses growers might normally incur when storing seed over summer.”
Researchers used four silos to test seed viability; two installed with aeration fans and two controls without fans.
They found using an aeration system and keeping seed grain cool almost halved the proportion of non-sprouting grain.
At one location, the volume of non-sprouted grain was 5.7 per cent in the control silo and 2.4 per cent in the aerated silo.
The researchers also found a significant difference in the number of pests in the silos.
In traps set in the control silos, they counted a total of 104,697 red flour beetles (Tribolium castaneum) and in the aerated silo traps, there were 5238.
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Source: Science Network