Studying Aeration in Grain Bin Quality Control

Studying Aeration in Grain Bin Quality Control

USDA researchers are looking at the concept of which direction of airflow is better in grain bins to provide cooling and insect control.

Aeration, the use of low volume ambient air to cool grain while it is stored in grain bins is a method grain elevators use to maintain the quality of their stored product. In addition aeration can help control insect pests in storage by bringing temperatures below 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

However there hasn't been much research on whether or not the direction of the air flow would better control insects in the bin. Entomologist Frank Arthur of USDA's Agricultural Research Service in Manhattan, Kan., and his colleagues have been studying different methods of aeration.

"The results of our first multi-year study show that suction aeration cooled the top of the grain mass quicker than pressure aeration," Arthur said. "Therefore leading to lower insect population."

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