Farmers with 20,000 to 50,000-bushel bins are preferred
By Diego Flammini
A Lethbridge College researcher is looking for Alberta grain producers to participate in a grain drying study.
Dr. Chandra Singh, the school’s applied research chair in agricultural engineering and technology, is looking for wheat, barley, canola and other grain farmers from across the province with on-farm grain drying and storage capacity to be part of his work for this harvest and the 2022 and 2023 harvests.
“We want farmers to have the best information available so they can better manage their crops,” he told Farms.com. “Location is important, and the more farmers we have from different regions of the province, the more complete data we will be able to examine.”
Singh conducted a similar study while working in Australia with the Grains Research and Development Corporation.
This kind of research has also been done in the U.S., but both countries had unique characteristics which differ from the Alberta study.
“In Australia they harvest into the summer and in the U.S. this kind of research is mostly focused on corn or rice,” he said. “This kind of research hasn’t been done in Western Canada yet.”
Members of Dr. Singh’s team will conduct drying experiments, inspect bins and collect grain samples from participating Alberta farms.
Farmers with 20,000 to 50,000-bushel grain bins with temperatures and moisture monitoring and fully automated fans and heater controls are preferred.
Producers who are willing to automate to be part of this study can receive a 20 per cent discount from OPIsystems (where Dr. Singh worked for five years) in Calgary.
The goal of the research is to develop on-farm grain drying strategies for optimum quality and energy efficiency.
“Our recommendations will be based on the whole grain management system and surrounding infrastructure,” Dr. Singh told Farms.com. “Is it good to have a 2,000-bushel bin for drying? Or do you need a 100,000-bushel bin or something in the middle?”
The findings will also include fuel costs, air flow rates and other factors that contribute to successful grain drying, Dr. Singh said.
More details on Dr. Singh’s research project and his contact information can be found here.