Aeration is cool, drying is hot

GRAIN STORAGE experts from state agricultural departments will take part in a national campaign to raise grain industry awareness of the value and role of grain aeration and drying. Growers are likely to hear that:

  • better storage procedures can protect grain quality, minimise food safety risks, improve market access and allow an earlier and potentially longer harvest period, so reducing the risk from weather-damaged grain;
  • silo aeration — especially when an automated controller is fitted — can expand the options of early harvest and broaden marketing opportunities;
  • properly managed aeration can enable safe storage of grain at moisture contents of around 14-15 per cent for long enough to take other steps to reduce moisture content — by a heated air drier, or by blending with drier grain.

The technical staff in each state will be available to speak at grower and adviser groups, field days and seminars, about the benefits of cooling and drying grain. The campaign is supported by growers and the Federal Government through the GRDC.

While aeration is used on more than 50 per cent of northern Australian grain farms, less than 5 per cent of growers use it in the southern grainbelt.

Southern state contacts for the cooling and drying campaign are listed below.

Program 5 Contact: NSW — Julianne Farrell 02 6938 1606 Victoria — Peter Botta 03 5761 1647 SA — Peter Fulwood 08 8568 6422 QLD — Philip Burrill 07 4661 2944 WA — Chris Newman 08 9366 2309