Our storage areas are electronically controlled and monitored to regulate the temperature of the grain. Each storage area has a number of temperature probes strategically placed across the bulk. This means that any hot spots in a bulk can be easily identified. In addition, regular visual analysis is carried out to check for any sign of heat, water and pest damage.
Significant changes in temperature could indicate problems such as infestation, water ingress or fungal growth. Keeping temperatures between 12-15°C for malting barley reduces germination loss, extends storage life and protects against infestation.
It is also important that malting barley does not get too cold as this can affect the recovery. Dormancy is a natural state that occurs in winter to inhibit germination when conditions are less than optimal. If the barley is kept too cold, this can prevent it from breaking its dormant state.
Insect, mite, fungal and mycotoxin development are controlled by temperature. At temperatures typically found in grainstores, biological activity of insects etc doubles for every 10°C rise in temperature.
- Most insects breed rapidly at 25-30°C
- Most insects can't breed below 15°C
- Grain weevils can reproduce slowly at 12°C
- Mites and fungi can increase (very slowly) down to 5°C in moist grain
Mycotoxin formation is most likely between 15°C and 25°C
POST HARVEST COOLING
Cooling crops quickly after drying is vitally important for two reasons.
- to prevent insects and mites completing their lifecycle
- to prevent loss of quality
When grain leaves the driers at harvest, it is generally at ambient temperature (around 22°C). It is then cooled to safe storage temperature by our ventilation system. The system monitors the temperature of the grain and the fans are activated to cool the store or specific areas of the store if required. Feed grains and OSR are cooled to 8°C, malting barley to 14°C until it is recovered.