The Canola Council of Canada issues its annual reminder to bring your canola down to a safe storage temperature and moisture rating so it doesn’t heat. Canola harvested much above eight to nine per cent moisture must be conditioned, especially if grain temperatures are above 25 C.
“If canola comes off the field close to dry, aeration and ‘turning’ canola can be effective ways to cool the seed and reduce seed moisture,” says agronomy specialist Matt Stanford, “but if it comes off the field with moisture levels of 10 to 12 per cent or higher, you need to consider heated air drying.” To turn canola, take a truckload or two out of the bin and dump it back in the top.
With farmers using bigger and bigger bins, more heat can be generated and trapped in the bin. Even dry canola can be at risk if it goes into the bin at high temperatures, particularly if there are pockets of damp seed or green dockage, which can create hot spots that can quickly spoil an entire bin of canola.
Continue to watch bins after conditioning because freshly harvested seed can maintain a high respiration rate for up to six weeks. “During this unstable sweating stage, there is still risk of canola seed heating or becoming mouldy. Regular monitoring at frequent intervals, particularly until cold temperatures set in, is critical for safe canola storage,” the council recommends.