Moisture content is just as important as temperature in stored grain.
Excessive moisture can lead to mould growth and mycotoxin production, mite infestations, heating from moulds and mites and sprouting.
The grain surface absorbs moisture in winter and this can lead to high mite populations. These problems are less likely when the initial moisture content is very low.
Moisture content is less important for insects but reducing moisture below 14.5% also reduces rate of insect breeding.
OSR requires even more precise moisture management than cereals due to the high oil content meaning that the safe moisture content for storing rapeseed is about half that of cereals. OSR becomes brittle if the moisture content is too low and mites pose a risk over winter when the surface of the bulk is likely to absorb moisture allowing mite populations to expand rapidly.
At harvest, malting barley is dried to between 12-14% moisture content and OSR to below 8%. As part of our quality maintenance schedule, the moisture content of stored crops is checked on a regular basis. If the moisture content has risen for any reason, then the crop is dried and any possible issues investigated and resolved.