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Managing stored grain with aeration

By moving air through stored grain, growers can reduce the rate of grain deterioration and prevent storage losses.

Called aeration, this practice greatly improves the storability of grain by maintaining a cool, uniform temperature throughout the storage. Aeration reduces mold development and insect activities – both issues that relate to moisture content and temperature – and prevents moisture migration.

Understanding aeration


How temperature and moisture impacts storability


Airflow and equipment


Managing aeration


Equipment for monitoring and management

To properly manage stored grain, the operator must be able to obtain samples from the stored grain, determine moisture content, monitor grain temperatures and keep a simple record of both grain and ambient temperatures.

In addition to helping the operator manage the stored grain, the equipment provides information on how the aeration system works and how stored grain responds to treatment.



Flowing grain is dangerous! Never enter a grain bin or other grain storage area while the grain is flowing.

Flowing grain will exert forces against the body great enough to pull the average-sized person under the grain in only a few seconds, leading to death by suffocation.


Harold A. Cloud, Extension agricultural engineer and R. Vance Morey, emeritus agricultural engineer


Development of this content was partially supported by the Minnesota Energy Agency under an Energy Policy and Conservation Act (P.L. 94-163) grant. The authors were members of the Department of Agricultural Engineering at the University of Minnesota.

Reviewed in 2018

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