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Aeration strategies and optimal airflow rates for midsouth wheat production areas

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Paper number  026079,  2002 ASAE Annual Meeting . (doi: 10.13031/2013.9402) @2002
Authors:   Thomas C. Bridges, Michael D. Montross, Samuel G. McNeill
Keywords:   Wheat, simulation, aeration, shrink, cost

Generally it is recommended that wheat be stored in a temperature range of 0 - 15 C to maintain quality and prevent mold growth. In the mid-south region of the U.S., wheat is often harvested at temperatures in the 20 30 C range requiring the grain to be aerated for safe storage. Thirty years of weather were examined for Lexington, KY and it was found that few hours in the 0 - 15 C temperature window were available for aeration during the summer period possibly requiring producers to use aeration strategies with larger airflow rates to condition the grain. Simulations were conducted for Lexington using weather data and aeration costs for two airflow rates and two temperature windows. Costs included: fan and energy costs, a cost for grain shrinkage and a cost for dry matter loss during the aeration period. Aeration costs ranged from 2.51 to 2.69 $/t with shrinkage ranging from 65 to 77% of the total. Grain shrinkage costs were reduced when larger airflow rates were used offsetting much of the increased fan and energy costs.

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