Grains are one of the most important crops because they can be used for both human and animal consumption. Most people know about the process of growing crops and products such as flour that are then turned into the food we eat, but many people do not think about what happens to grains once they are harvested and before they are turned into food. This is what we are going to be looking at in the guide below by exposing a huge part of the multi-million dollar business.
Drying and Storage
Once the grains are harvested, they need to be dried and stored. This is the final step in grain production and the drying needs to be done before the grain is stored. Drying reduces the grains’ moisture content by 80-90% and reduces the risk of spoilage due to too much moisture in the silos.
Each grain has different storage requirements. Most grains are stored in silos which usually provide the right conditions to prevent spoilage, discourage the growth of microorganisms as well as pest infestation, and preserve the grain’s quality so it can fetch a higher price. Farmers need to ensure that their silos are clean before putting the grains in them. While the cleaning can be done manually, this would take too long. To save time, farmers can use professional grain silo cleaning services to ensure the cleaning is done quickly and safely.
Once the grain is in the stores, all that is left is to manage the grain residues. Many farmers choose to leave these residues in the field for mulching. Some may harvest these residues which are then used as animal fodder when mixed with other residues and constituents.
Some grains, such as rice, undergo milling as the last post-production process. This is where the husk is removed to leave edible grain which is free of impurities. There are different standards for milling, with the standard determining the percentage of broken grains. Depending on the customer, the rice should only have a small percentage of broken grains.
Farmers are usually not involved in the direct sale of their products and so they sell to what is known as a grain elevator. They sell their grains at the going market rates and these elevators hold the grains until the prices in the market are right. In cases where the prices of the produce are likely to go down, these elevators will sell the grain as soon as they receive it, usually for a small profit. These elevators can also sell the grain to larger corporations who then export the grain or sell it in the domestic market for domestic consumption.
Harvesting grains and the processes that follow are important as they directly affect the quality of the grains once it comes time to sell. Proper procedures can also help to ensure a larger final yield. These processes should be managed well if a farmer would like to see remarkable results for their efforts.