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The purpose of any grain storage facility is to provide safe storage conditions for the grain in order to prevent grain loss caused by adverse weather, moisture, rodents, birds, insects and micro-organisms like fungi.
Types of storage facilities
Rice storage facilities take many forms depending on: 1. 2. 3. the quantity of grain to be stored, the purpose of storage, and the location of the store.
Storage in bulk at farmer's house, Cambodia
Bag storage at a rice mill, Indonesia
In general, it is recommended that rice for food purposes be stored in paddy form (=threshed, unhulled rice) rather than milled rice as the husk provides some protection against insects and helps prevent quality deterioration. However, when rice can be stored as brown rice, 20% less storage capacitywill be needed. Brown rice is rice grain with its hulls removed but not polished. Under tropical conditions brown rice has a very short shelf life, approximately two weeks.
Requirements for good storage
The requirements for a good storage system include:
Protection from insects, rodents and birds by allowing proper storage hygiene. Ease of loading and unloading. Efficient use of space. Ease of maintenance and management. Prevention of moisture re-entering the grain after drying.
Specific challenges in the humid tropics
Rice grain is hygroscopic and in open storage systems the grain moisture content will eventually equilibrate with the surrounding air at the so calledequilibrium moisture content (EMC). High relative humidity and high temperatures typical for the humid tropical climate lead to grains absorbing water in storage and to a high final moisture content. In many tropical countries, the equilibrium moisture content is above safe storage moisture levels!
The longer the grain needs to be stored. Grain is protected from re-wetting by rain or imbibing moisture from the surrounding air. Grain is protected from insects. Bag storage system In most parts of Asia grain is stored in 40-80kg bags made from either jute or woven plastic. moisture adsorption Insect damage 13 % or less Storage of farmer's seeds 12% or less Storage for more than 1 year 9 % or less Loss of Germination Loss of germination A rule of thumb for seed is that the life of the seed will be halved for every 1% increase in moisture content or a 5°C increase in storage temperature. Grain is maintained at moisture levels of 14% or less and seed is stored at 12% or less 2. these bags are normally formed into a stack. Grain and seed stored at moisture contents above 14% may experience the growth of molds. respiration loss. which can be either in bag or in bulk inside a hermetic container.Safe storage conditions for grain Safe storage of rice for longer periods is possible if three conditions are met: 1. discoloration. the lower the required moisture content will need to be. A new storage system is hermetic storage. Depending on the size of storage. Save moisture contents for storage: Purpose Storge duration Weeks to a few months storage Storage for 8 to 12 months Required MC for safe storage 14 % or less Potential problems Molds. rodents and birds 3. rapid loss of viability and a reduction in eating quality. Grain storage systems Grain storage systems can be classified as either bag or bulk. insect damage. Properly stored bags The hermetic IRRI super bag .
Silos have the advantage that they can be more easily sealed for fumigation and . metal or concrete. which are located under or inside the house. rodents. Plastic bags are more slippery and the stacks will be less stable. A one meter gap should be left between and around stacks and 1. in a shed or granary or under water proof tarpaulins. The efficiency of bag storage can be improved if a hermetic plastic liner bag like the IRRI Super bag is used inside the existing storage bag especially for seeds but also for commerical rice. Commercial bulk storage Silos The large export mills and collection houses sometimes use metal or concrete silos. The dimensions of the stacks should be set to facilitate sealing with a single fumigation sheet. Wooden granary Losses from insects.5 meters clearance between the top of the stack and the roof. under a roof. as these are difficult to keep free from insect infestation. which have been constructed from timber or mud/cement or large woven bamboo or palm leaves. Bags should be stacked under cover e.When using bag storage consideration needs to be given to the following: Jute bags should not be stacked higher than 4m and plastic bags 3m. Bags should be stacked so that fumigation can be undertaken easily.g. These silos range in size from 20 to 2. Bags should not be stacked on a bed of rice husks or bags filled with rice husks. Bulk storage Farm level bulk storage At farm level grain is often stored in bulk in small outside granaries or in woven baskets or containers made from wood. These storages vary in capacity from 2001000kg. birds and moisture uptake are usually high in traditional bulk storage systems.000 ton capacity. Bags should be stacked on pallets or on an above ground structure to avoid the possibility of absorbing moisture from the floor. Some farmers use bag storage in outside granaries.
Larger hermetic system have also been used with milled rice. and other cereal crops such as maize and also coffee. IRRI Super bag Hermetic Cocoon TM Local containers converted into hermeticstorage systems with 5t capacity next for 50 kg to conventional storage bags How does hermetic storage work? Once the container is hermetically sealed the moisture content of the grain will be controlled. Hermetic storage provides moisture and insect control without pesticides. At oxygen levels below 10%. For more information about hermetic storage see the Hermetic storage page. the smaller 50kg IRRI Super bags or locally available containers. oxygen levels will be reduced from 21% to less than 10% within a short period of time. What is hermetic storage? In hermetically sealed storage systems grains are placed inside an airtight container. Because it minimizes biological activity inside the storage container hermetic storage also helps maintain milling quality. . By placing an airtight barrier between the grain and the outside atmosphere the moisture content of the stored grain will remain the same as when the storage was sealed.Silos are not very common in Asia because of problems with moisture migration inside the silo which results in hot-spots and molds. Hermetic storage systems can be used for paddy. insects are curtailed and the viability of seed ensured. Hermetic storage Sealed or hermetic storage systems are a very effective means of controlling grain moisture content and insect activity for grain stored in tropical regions. The size of the systems can range from 3 liters2. Depending on the number of insects.000 tons. Types of hermetic storage systems A hermetic storage system can be made from specially designed PVC containers such as the Cocoon™. which stops oxygen and water movement between the outside atmosphere and the stored grain. Respiration by the grain and insects inside the storage container change the inter-granular atmosphere by consuming oxygen and producing carbon dioxide. Biological activity inside the sealed container will consume the oxygen and as a result most insects will die. and type and size of the system. brown rice.less grain is spilt or wasted.
Seeds can be stored safely for 9-12 months or even longer resulting still in high germination rates and head rice yields are typically increased by 10%. the storage room or the seed stock may be sealed with tarpaulin and treated with fumigants. See also research data on benefits during 8 months of storage in Vietnam. In many cases oxygen levels go down to even less than 3%. removing cobwebs and dust.00 depending on the amount ordered and the location. hermetic storage can be a cost effective alternative for increasing the life of seeds especially in rural areas where cold storage is not feasible. and collecting and removing any grain spills. Drop of oxygen in hermetic bags with differentoxygen permeability Benefits of hermetic storage Hermetically sealed grain storage systems improve grain quality and seed viability because they maintain the original storage moisture content and reduce pest damage without using pesticides. When necessary and only under the direction of a trained pest control technician. which also reduced oxygen faster. 200 liter oil drums may cost from $2-5. After a few days oxygen levels of 5-10% are reached at which time insect activity stops.00-2. consume lots of oxygen and therefore the oxygen level drops fast. Guidelines for storage hygiene Guidelines for hygiene in the grain store include: Keep storage areas clean. crevices and wooden pallets with an insecticide before using them again Placing rat-traps and barriers in drying and storage areas. Clean storage rooms after they are emptied and this may include spraying walls. Cats deter and help control rats and mice Inspect storage room regularly to keep it vermin proof. Purpose of storage hygiene Good hygiene in the grain store or storage depot is important in maintaining grain and seed quality. Locally constructed systems depend on the purchase price of recycled containers or clay pots.The graph shows how inside the hermetically sealed container the oxygen gets consumed rapidly after sealing. for example. Many insects. with an expected life of at least 10 years. More moistue increases biological activity. Inspect the stored seeds once a week for signs of insect infestation. Cost Large commercial systems like the Cocoons™ cost from $100-130 per ton. . They can last for 6 seasons or more if protected from damage. The 50kg recyclable Super bags cost $1. This means sweeping the floor. The worse the conditions. Cold storage is still the best method to store seeds but it is expensive in investment and operation. Bird and rodent damage are also reduced. the better the system works.
.Examples of dirty and messy storage: This might attract insects and rodents.
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