June 10, 2021

Storage of barley grain

Barley is typically harvested and initially stored at moderate temperatures. Grain stores best if it is cool, dry and clean. The recommended maximum moisture content for storage of clean, sound barley during warm summer temperatures is 12%. Barley can be stored at slightly higher moisture contents if it is kept cool.

Barley is stored either in permanent storage structures (bins or flat storage) or in silo-bags. The silo-bag is an hermetic storage system with a self-modified atmosphere.

The silo-bag plastic cover is made with a three-layer polyethylene of 235 microns thick which prevents the free exchange of gases between the ambient atmosphere and the interstitial space.

For growers planning to store grains that cannot have protectants applied or are to be stored for more than 3 months, then gas-tight, aeratable silos are the best option.

Cooling stored barley with aeration is critical to maintain grain quality. Insect reproduction is slowed at grain temperatures below 70°F, they become dormant at temperatures below about 50°F, and insects can be killed if grain temperatures are maintained at or below 30°F for about two months.
Storage of barley grain

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