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Update on straight cutting frozen hailed canola, and storage questions

3887 Views 11 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Northern Farmer
Finished combining standing canola in the snow today. Everything yielded better than expected, and quality better also.

First, questions on storing this stuff. The crop was full of flowers, buds green plants and shrivelled frozen seeds, too much of which ended up in the hopper, even with full wind. smells like silage within hours. I just took a truckload out of the first bin that was filled ( just over 10% moisture and 10% green) as it was getting warm already, no damage yet. will turn the whole bin and see what it does then. A couple of other bins are already warming up too after only a week or two, with far less green matter in them, 8 to 9% moisture, and almost no greens but lots of shriveled seeds, again, smells like silage right from the start. Can this be normal to go through a heat then settle down, or do I need to turn everything? I don't normally check bins this soon after filling. I am quite sure I know the answer, wishful thinking right? No aeration bins, but most went into small 14' bins. or 19's but not full. Don't know exact temperatures, just using metal rods.
How dangerous is storing this mixture?

Straight combining was the right choice. There was virtually no shattering in the field, and we had some massive winds too. The dividers shattered a lot depending on the direction. The few swaths I did make in one field (RR) had nearly 50% green seeds over a month later, standing right beside the swaths was under 20% All other fields were much better as low as 2% on most of the Invigor, some RR was also that low.

Header fed really well until it got really wet at nights, when it was impossible to straight cut, tangle wrap, fold over the knife, catch on dividers, but swaths could still be done in the same conditions. Fed the smoothest when it was leaning directly away, tolerably when leaning into the header, if I could cut high enough. Unfortunately, I had to nearly scrape the dirt in many places thanks to the snow, and the deer and moose. Start from south side of fields.

Green stalks will not go through the straw chopper, even with sharp new blades it often bridged on top of chopper. It helped to grind it up more with a tighter concave and faster cylinder. Spent too much time unplugging the straw chopper and walkers, much worse at night when wet.

Some seeds must have kept filling after the frost. Don't know where all of the green seeds went.
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I believe the short answer and not the one you would like to hear but the one you SHOULD hear is that your dealing with FIRE in a manor of speaking. You listed off all the potential signs before you even smelled it, the green matter/blooms, the high green count, the damaged seed will do all sorts of things that a sound clean cured canola sample won't do. Its natural for canola to go through a sweat but its a sign even then to turn a bin if temperatures come up much at all or at least turn on the aeration at that point to cool it right down before anything gets going. But with what your dealing with, and smelling bad right off the bat, what really needs to happen if its going to stay on the yard is being put through a dryer and cooled down within the dryer before going into aeration bins that cool it down to the freezing point. If you have no dryer and you don't have aeration as you mentioned, you are in a bind and all I can suggest is you keep turning and checking the temps of the problem bins to keep it in check and you still may not be able to keep up to it and have something get away. Of course its your personal call but I would suggest trying to market the worst of what you have as soon as you can and keep at it with the rest to hold it from heating. With a smaller amount its possible to move into trucks, leave over night, then put back into a bin and so on but it sounds like you are overwhelmed with product that is just way too scary to turn your back on. I've gotten to the point where I aerate every bushel we have even if that means putting it in an aeration bin to cool down for a few days and then transfer to non aerated bins as we've had a few surprises too and with the so called small 14' diameter bins.

This fall someone just down the road had built some 25000 bushel bins and with aeration and they thought they were putting in decent canola and if it was, what it was testing and so on I don't know but chances are something wasn't as dry or as cured or was coming off the field on the hot side and they didn't get around to running the aeration on it right away. Well when they discovered it was hot ( 90 F they said ) they turned on the fan and a white column of steam was shooting up from the bin that day and a massive watery ooz was leaking out from the bin to floor foundation and just reeked. I see they have taken some out since they ran the fan but don't know what condition its in now, can't be all that good with the way its smelling.
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If you look up the canola counsel safe storage recommendations chart ( I haven't looked at it lately myself ) , I think the general gist is a combination of moisture level and temperature. Although moisture has a lot to do with it, temperature is a big factor and I do know a few years ago a local farmer talked about having taken canola that was testing over 13 and put it in a bin and froze it with aeration and kept it the whole winter and hauled it out the next spring and it was fine ... BUT, didn't clean out the bottom of the bin and that canola warmed up from the natural higher outside temps in the spring and it heated. Of course your dealing with bloom contamination and that is totally messing with how the canola is reacting.
That is a very good question as to what temperature heating starts to occur but remember with such an oddball sample you are working with, its not only a heating issue but one of possible mold I would think. With you seeing the temperature at 20 and having climbed at all, I'd just suggest you be proactive and start moving a bin like that around right away. Otherwise you may find yourself totally overwhelmed with problems everywhere and can't keep up.

As was suggested, if you have one or two bins available that are empty, I'd be very tempted to install a half round or tube aeration system and even better if you had a hopper bin that you could install a rocket style system in. That way you would have something to work with to put the worst/warmest into and cool it right down and move it to another bin and keep repeating with the other canola. Electrically, that may be a problem as well and if you can't rig up something temporarily, if you had access to a large enough generator to suffice for the moment.

Also, is it possible that you have a neighbor with some empty aeration bins with temp cables and can rent them for the winter and make use of his system and pay for the electricity used ?
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I thought this link might add more information to this thread from Oct and just the thought/heads up of checking canola bins that one assumed should be ok. Yesterday I was attending an appreciation evening put on by a seed and chemical company and one farmer mentioned that he's personally heard of a couple of farms that found a 10000 bushel bin in one case and a 20000 bushel bin in another that had heated and the claim being the canola went in at 8 or so but he didn't know if they had cooled it, just assumed they would have ?. So what the real story was, I don't know but not getting around to it and cooling a hot harvested 25000 bushel bin at a neighbors down the road certainly created some excitement some weeks back around here and all I know is that they took some out and the first Super B load was 90% damaged seed.

Is your stored canola ready for winter? | WeatherFarm
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