Hot canola increases storage risk

Harvest and Storage

September 24, 2014 - Issue 25

Turn on the fans to cool that hot canola.

Turn on the fans to cool that hot canola.

Storage and spoilage graph

Canola storage experts recommend that hot canola be put on aeration for cooling, even if it’s dry. There will still be convection currents and some moisture movement within the bin, which can concentrate moisture at the bottom of the central core — creating a possible start point for heating.
Aeration will also even out the temperature and moisture throughout the bin, preventing these hot spots from occurring.

The risk is even higher with larger bins. With larger bins, there is generally less surface area relative to the volume, meaning natural cooling takes longer. The core will hold that heat longer if not aerated, and larger bins take more loads to fill them so there is a greater chance a load or two might be over 8%. These spots would not necessarily be safe if temperatures are over 25 C.

When using aeration to cool canola that is very dry, fans can be shut off during the day and turned on at night when air is cooler.

If growers feel conditioning is unnecessary, then monitoring frequently is even more critical, especially during the first few weeks when warm seed may be respiring rapidly. They need to ensure that temperatures throughout the bin are at least stable or hopefully falling over time.

Check your moisture meter. Moisture meters can lose accuracy. Test a few samples each year on your home tester and then on the elevator’s tester to see how they compare.

Podcast on combining canola in warm weather.

Canola Watch