Getting the most of out of your harvest

Whether you are a seasoned cropper or just getting into the business, many factors can come into play when planning and conducting the harvest.

"There are a lot of things that you may be tempted to shortcut, however doing so can have a detrimental impact on your harvest," said a spokesperson for HE Silos.

"The first thing to consider is when the right time is to cut your crop. Harvesting your crop too early, when the moisture content is still high will stop the translocation process of sugars throughout the plant.

"There are several ways to measure the moisture content of your grain, one of the most tried is the 'oven' method. To do this, you would take a set weight of grains, you would then dry them in a dehydrator or oven. After the grain is fully dried, the weight is then divided over the original weight which will give you the moisture content of your grain."

If you are planning to store your grain on-farm, it is vital to give your grain adequate drying time, failing to do so will leave your grain far more vulnerable to mould and pests.

"The CSIRO Stored Grain Laboratory has conducted work to test the viability of cereal grains when stored at different moisture levels and temperatures," said the spokesperson.

"Their studies show that grain put into storage at 300 with a 15 percent moisture content had its viability drop to below 20 percent, compared to only 90 percent when the moisture content was 12 percent. They then conducted the same tests with grain being stored at 200 rather than 300 and found that the deterioration drastically reduced for both moisture contents tested. Which brings us to our next point, temperature.

"Aeration systems are one of the most effective methods of maintaining a safe temperature for grain storage. HE Silos Aeration Systems work by using a fan to force air into the ducting, this in turn distributes the air throughout the grain in the silo, maintaining a low temperature.

"Hot air will be pushed out of your storage and cooler air constantly circulated. This can help to reduce moisture build up, which is bad news for grain. A lower temperature will hinder the growth and breeding of insects."

THE RIGHT SILO: Call HE Silos on 1800 046 046 or email to enquire about the Aeration Systems.

THE RIGHT SILO: Call HE Silos on 1800 046 046 or email to enquire about the Aeration Systems.