Condition canola immediately after harvest

All canola should be conditioned shortly after it goes in the bin. Canola that goes into the bin hot is at much higher risk of spoilage, and conditioning will reduce the grain temperature. It will also help to dry down dockage, which may have higher moisture content than the seed. Note that straight combined canola may have “greener” dockage, which could add to the storage risk. Movement of air through conditioning will also help remove moisture from this dockage.

Turn on the fans to cool that hot canola.
Turn on the fans to cool that hot canola.

Storage risk is reduced significantly when canola moisture is 8% or lower and temperature is 15°C or lower.

How to condition canola: The basic recommendation is to put canola into aeration bins immediately after harvest and turn the fans on until canola has cooled to 15°C. If aeration bin space is not available, keep moving the canola from bin to bin until it cools.

The act of augering canola from one bin to another will circulate air through the seed, cool it off and remove any developing hot spots. Moving canola after a couple weeks on aeration adds another level of security to make sure the highly valuable crop is safe.

Monitor canola throughout the aeration process to make sure the temperature is coming down. Bin temperature cables simplify the monitoring process. If temperatures stop falling or worse, start rising again, this is a bad sign that heating may have begun. Empty the whole bin to break up hot spots and cool off the mass, then put the canola back on aeration.

The first 4 to 6 weeks after putting the canola in the bin is the most critical time.

Further reading:

Hot canola increases the storage risk

Top 10 risky situations for canola storage
Be safe when handling grain
Tips for drying tough and damp canola