Authors: Bartosik, R., Rodríguez, J., Cardoso, L.
EEA INTA Balcarce, Ruta 226 km 73,5, Balcarce (7620), Pcia. Bs.As, Argentina
Abstract: This research makes focus on the effect of grain moisture content (MC) and storage time on the quality of corn, wheat, soybean and sunflower stored in hermetic plastic bags of 200 tonnes of capacity. Grain samples were periodically collected during the entire storage time, and then quality tests were performed. Additionally, moisture content stratification and temperature changes were monitored for different grain layers. The study also included measurement of CO2 and O2 concentration of the interstitial atmosphere. The main results indicated that the grain temperature in the hermetically sealed plastic bags followed the pattern of the ambient temperature throughout the year. The average moisture content did not significantly change during the entire experiment for both dry and wet silo-bags. In general, no MC stratification was observed but in wet sunflower, where the top layer increased MC from 16.4 to 20.8% after 150 days of storage. When the grain was stored at the market moisture content, no significant decrease in the quality parameters could be observed during 150 days of storage. Contrastingly, when grain was stored above the market moisture content, the decrease in some of the quality parameter could be observed. The increase in the CO2 concentration was higher at the end of the storage time and also was higher in those bags with wetter grain. Measurement of gas composition in the interstitial air could be used as an indication of the biological activity of the grain mass in the hermetic storage systems, and a tool for monitoring grain storability.