Date of this Version
This NebGuide discusses the role of aeration as part of a comprehensive management program for maintaining the quality of stored grain.
Grain is stored for a variety of reasons including expectations of higher prices and for use as animal feed. Regardless of the reason, a comprehensive management program is required to maintain grain quality. This includes: 1) making sure that the grain going into storage is dry, clean and in good condition; 2) regularly inspecting the grain to locate temperature, moisture, or insect problems; and 3) aerating the grain to maintain uniform temperature and moisture conditions, prevent localized hot spot development, and to cool existing or developing hot spots. This NebGuide deals specifically with the aeration part of an overall management program for dry grain in storage.
Aeration systems should not be confused with the higher airflow system designed for natural air drying. Stored grain is aerated primarily to control grain temperature. Relatively low airflow rates, typically between 1/10 and 1/5 cubic feet of air per minute per bushel (cfm/bu), are adequate for this purpose. These airflow rates are not high enough to do a significant amount of drying. It is important that grain be stored at the proper moisture content and that the aeration system is managed to maintain favorable storage conditions.