Farming is a practice that may seem extremely satisfying and therapeutic even, but from a distance. Come closer and see the toils involved, you’d understand. A farmer puts a lot of arduous effort into ensuring his produce reaps him the reward he puts in.
That said, the task doesn’t merely end in collecting the produce. It is of great important to safeguard the grains. After all, the farmer’s sustenance rests on it. There are a number of methods for storage of grains that the farmer then has to use.
Having said that, let’s try to understand the myriad methods of storage of grains. In fact, as seen widely, these are methods of storage of grains in India too.
The first step is planning: this is of vital importance in order to align the methods of storage of grains. Planning requires creating a strategy of storing a variety of crops such as Maize, Wheat, Millet and others.
This step not only involves chalking out a solution for grain storage but for its commercial sale, to outlets such as a large-scale commercial farmer, a co-operative or a silo.
Now comes the next step in the process of identifying methods of storage of grains. After the grains have reached a stage of maturity, i.e., having reached physiological maturity, harvesting has to be done, regardless of whether by medium or large-scale combined harvesters.
While the crop is on the land, commercial farmers that have access to their own drying equipment can engage with the crop before it reaches the ideal storage moisture content. In this step, it’s vital to look after the commodity and prevent it from hail.
For cleaning of the grain, some farmers can even extend it to commercial silos for further processes.
This is the third important step in terms of understanding the different methods of storage of grain. That said, this is also among common modern methods of storage of grains. This is, therefore, also used widely in the methods of storage of grains in India.
The success of grains depends on the kind of storage facilities it is subjected to. There are various steps to consider: whether considering storage on an open shed floor under roof or whether to store the grains outside a facility under a sail.
This is also a precious step in the entire chain of processes because it is at this stage that one has to make a choice between the kind of silos to be used for the method of storage of grains, between concrete and steel silos.
A lot depends upon the moisture content of the grain. Then there’s also the prevailing ambient temperature content of the grain and level of humidity. One’s got to find the optimum balance between humidity and moisture.
Any options for smaller farmers?
Large-scale farmers have their task sorted. But the small-scale farmers have a challenge to contend with. Where do they store their crop? For instance, when it comes to Maize, it can be stored on the cob. An interesting method of storage of the grains like maize is to put them out for longer run in the drier areas. It is here that the farmer needs to be mindful and careful of the crop temperature and moisture content.
Monitoring temperature and moisture
One’s got to understand the ideal crop temperature. Then one has to consider the fact that each crop as an “equilibrium point of moisture.” What this is, varies for each crop while accumulating it in steel silos for grain storage.
These above methods have to be factored in order to ensure a long-term storage and safety of grains. That said, if one has to consider the different methods for the storage of grains, then each of the above step have to be considered strategically in the order of their occurrence.