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Warm Grain A Haven For Insects

Blaine Timlick, the Canadian Grain Commission’s (CGC) stored products entomologist, recommends you aerate grain to bring the temperature to less than 15C as quickly as possible to prevent insect infestation. Most stored product pests do not feed or reproduce below +15C.

If you do not have aeration systems, take out a load or two from the bottom and dump it on top and monitor its temperature. CGC’s web site ( more tips for preventing insect infestation during fall grain storage.


So you’ve harvested canola at six per cent moisture. There’s no way that stuff can spoil, right? You can leave it alone until delivery time. Don’t take that chance. If you harvested that canola in September, it probably went into the bin hot. And it will still be hot in the centre.

Remember, the seed might not contain much water, but it’s 40 to 45 per cent oil. Jim Bessel, senior agronomy specialist with the Canola Council of Canada in Saskatoon, makes a diesel analogy. “You know how a diesel engine works. All it takes is compression. You don’t need a spark. Heat builds and bang, it fires.”

Several hundred tonnes of hot canola piled in a bin exerts a lot of pressure. You need to cool it off, even it’s very “dry.”

If you’ve got a wide squat bin, aeration is probably enough, says Bessel. But if it’s a tall narrow bin, like many of the hopper bottoms, aeration alone might not be sufficient. Compaction pressure is higher in these bins and airflow can be reduced, he says. The best bet it to take out a load or two on a cool dry fall day and put it back in the top.



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