Storage tips for spring-harvested canola

May 10, 2017 - Issue 7

Canola combined this spring has been coming off dry and cool. Should it go on aeration?

Fungi on seed could respire and create storage issues — even if the seed itself is dry. Aeration could keep a lid on any fungi-driven hot spots. But…aerating cool canola on a warm day will warm up the bin and could increase risk. If aerating, it may be best to do it on cool nights and days to keep the bin temperature low.

Since farmers and researchers don’t have much experience harvesting and binning canola in the spring, there is some uncertainty with these recommendations. The best advice is to watch it closely. If anything seems to present an increased risk, consider delivering this canola sooner than later.

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A scenario…

We got a reader question asking about storing spring-harvested canola in large grain-storage bags. The canola was 12% moisture and had 28% damaged seed.

Our answer: This particular situation has not been tested, so caution needs to be taken. There are three strikes against this canola being safe in bags this time of year.

1) High levels of damaged seeds. Damaged seeds could present a higher risk for volatility because they could be, potentially, a more suitable substrate for molds and fungi. Without aeration, it is difficult to break that up.
2) Warming outside temperatures. If that grain stayed cool, it would likely last many weeks in a bag. If temperatures are in the mid teens? Far shorter. If in the 20s, you could see spoilage in a few days.
3) High moisture. 8% (and cool) is considered safe for long-term storage.

Grain bags may offer slightly more ‘breathability’ than a bin, but this can be good or bad. Again, be cautious. Monitor closely. Keep it short term.

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