A Guide to Understand the Importance of Grain Drying

Grain drying is a common agricultural practice that refers to the removal of some of the moisture from grains. This practice is followed since ancient times, however, over the years, it has experienced some changes. Grain drying as the name suggests is the process of drying harvest to reduce the moisture content in the grain. This process makes grain safe for storage because as compared to wet grains (high moisture content), dry grains can be stored much longer. If excess moisture is not removed, there’s a risk of bacteria or mold formation, resulting in damage. For storing crops like corn, the grains should be dried to less than 15% moisture content.

If the moisture content of the harvest is too high, it causes fast deterioration. Moisture is responsible for promoting mold growth and attracts insects that are harmful to the grain. When it comes to rice, drying must be performed as soon as possible after harvesting, ideally between 12-24 hours. How long you want to store the grain determines the drying needs. If you’re planning to store grain longer, make sure to lower the moisture content.

Methods of Grain Drying

Grain drying can be performed in two ways- traditional drying (sun drying) and mechanical drying. For decades, the traditional sun-drying method was used for reducing the moisture content of grain. This process involves spreading the grains out in the sun. The natural sun hear evaporates the water from the grains, making them safe for storage. This is a simple and inexpensive way of drying but has some limitations. Sun drying doesn’t allow you to control temperature and there’s a risk of grain damage if it suddenly starts raining. Mechanical drying, on the other hand, involves using grain dryers that blow heated air through the grain. The advanced dryers allow controlling temperature and help you quickly achieve the desired moisture content. It requires less labor and doesn’t carry a risk of rain damage. Using grain dryers ensures even drying and better results.

Benefits of Grain Drying

Many products require drying such as rice, wheat, quinoa, nuts, pulses, millet, coffee, and more. When done correctly, grain drying provides multiple benefits. Grain drying, whether performed naturally under the sun or artificially using grain dryers, benefits both products and farmers. The primary reason for drying is to ensure safe storage. Farmers store grains, sometimes for several months after harvest. Grains are stored in large storage bins before they are sold out. Selling grains right after harvest means getting a lower price due to the high supply. Storage allows farmers to wait and sell the product at a higher price when the market price rises. This increases farmers’ profitability. However, if not dried, grains like any other food item can spoil. Storing grains with high moisture content means risking spoilage. Drying grain before putting it into grain storage bins keeps them safe. So, the key benefits of using grain dryers include:

  1. Safer Storage
  2. Less Waste by Preventing Spoilage
  3. Quick Drying
  4. More Profits

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