Drying and storing of harvested grain - A Review of Methods / Drying and storage of grain




Ólafur Reykdal

Supported by:

Northern Periphery and Arctic Program


Ólafur Reykdal

Project Manager

Drying and storing of harvested grain - A Review of Methods / Drying and storage of grain

In the Arctic, grain is generally cut so moist that it is quickly damaged if it is not dried or soaked in feed. Drying grain is costly and therefore the choice of equipment and energy sources must be carefully considered. The use of geothermal energy is recommended where possible, as geothermal energy should be the cheapest energy source. Mixed solutions can work well, such as geothermal energy and diesel fuel. Agriculture needs to aim for increased sustainability and then geothermal and electricity are good options. Some molds in the field or in storage can form mycotoxins (fungal toxins) in humid and warm conditions. Mycotoxins can be harmful to human and livestock health. The risk of mycotoxin imaging is minimal in cold northern areas. However, it is necessary to monitor the quality of grain in storage and monitor the possible formation of mycotoxins. This report provides an overview of drying methods, energy sources and grain safety and is the basis for advice and research on grain drying.

In the Northern Periphery Region, grains are usually harvested at moisture contents too high for safe storage. Therefore the grain should be dried (or wet processed) as soon as possible. The drying process is expensive and the selection of equipment and fuel should be studied carefully. Where available, the use of geothermal water is recommended. In Iceland, geothermal energy has been found to be the cheapest energy source for grain drying. The use of mixed solutions, eg geothermal energy and diesel, is possible. Grain producers should aim at increased sustainability. Excellent solutions are geothermal energy and electricity. Mold in the field or in stores can produce mycotoxins under humid conditions and quite high temperature. Mycotoxins can harm the health of humans and animals. The existence of mycotoxins in grain grown under the cool conditions of northern regions is likely to be minimal but the situation should be studied and monitored. This report reviews grain drying methods, possible energy sources, safety aspects and is the basis for guidelines and case studies.

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