Cool those bins of hot canola

Canola harvested during this week’s hot weather has to go on aeration to cool it off — even if the seed moisture levels are “dry.” Canola at 10% moisture is at risk of spoilage when put in the bin at 20 C. At temperatures of 25 to 30 C, the spoilage risk is that much greater. Even at 8% moisture, canola is at risk if not cooled down immediately after storage.

Green seeds and dockage, including canola plant material, weed material and insect parts, create additional start points for heating and can make the situation worse. Click here for more tips from a media release issued this week.

An article in the September issue of Canola Digest magazine, which hit mailboxes this week, describes how one Alberta grower lost a whole bin to heating. The canola went in dry so the grower thought it should be OK, even though it had a high green count. When he checked the bin a few month after harvest, the central core was a solid mass. It took him days of work to break it apart and get it cleared out. It sold for $1 a bushel.

Bag storage. Growers considering storing canola harvested at high temperatures in bags or bins without aeration should keep in mind that the higher the initial temperature the longer it will take for that grain mass to cool. Monitor throughout this storage frequently for any signs of heating or spoilage, and be prepared to move the grain at the first sign of trouble.