Is your stored canola OK?

January 15, 2020 – Issue 2

Reports of heated canola have trickled through all winter. High moisture seed and dockage, as well as green seed can increase the storage risk for canola. Please check bins. If they are at risk, farmers can take advantage of colder days to aerate or turn the bins by removing a few loads and putting them back on top.

Two things to think about:

One: When testing canola in winter, keep in mind that moisture testers are not designed to work on cold grain. NDSU storage researcher Kenneth Hellevang has this tip to avoid moisture tester error: Put the sample in a sealed container (to allow the sample to come to equilibrium), bring it inside and wait 6 to 12 hours before testing. “The meter is fooled by the condition on the outside of kernels,” he says.

Two: Cold canola may not be as safe as you think. Freezing tough (10 to 12.5% moisture) or damp (over 12.5%) canola by running cold air through the bin can be a short-term storage solution for canola that couldn’t get dried before winter…but check that canola regularly. In December, the Canola Council’s Clint Jurke shared this observation: “We put some 15% moisture canola into a 3,000-bushel bin at -5°C about four weeks ago. We moved it on the weekend because it started to heat already.”

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