Jump to Harvesting Storage Measuring Moisture Artificial Drying
The information in this hand out was obtained from published literature,
the WorldWideWeb, responses to a question on buckwheat posted on a stored
product listserv, and some extension and industry personnel who have buckwheat
expertise. If you have questions, or have information on buckwheat drying
and storage that you would like to share, email email@example.com
or call 612-625-8205.
It might be possible to avoid artificial drying if buckwheat is swathed and allowed to dry in the swath before combining. Start swathing when flowering is complete and 75% of the seeds are mature, and try to swath when the plants are damp to reduce shattering losses.
It is a good idea to provide some kind of aeration system (fan and perforated ducts or full perforated floor) to control the temperature of any stored grain crop. Operate aeration fans to cool the crop in stages during fall and early winter until it reaches the target temperature of 20 to 30 F. (This storage temperature is appropriate for the northern corn belt; 30 to 40 F might be more appropriate for the central part of the corn belt.) Storage bins that were designed for wheat or barley should work well for buckwheat.
Buckwheat millers want a light-green colored, mild-tasting groat. Since the groat darkens and its flavor changes over time, try to keep storage time short for buckwheat destined for human food to minimize these undesirable changes. Some varieties of buckwheat to be used for seed, however, might require a storage time of at least 30 to 60 days before the seed will germinate.
If a moisture meter is not available, or if you want to calibrate or check a moisture meter, an oven test can be used to determine moisture content. The Japanese Society of Agricultural Machinery recommends weighing wet buckwheat samples and then drying them for 24 hours at 135 C (275 F) to remove free water. Wet basis moisture content is then calculated:
Wet basis moisture content (%) = 100% x (wet weight - oven dry weight)
/ wet weight
Note from T. Björkman: In a test at one NY grower field, we compared a John Deere TY9304 hand-held moisture meter with the value given by the official Motomco meter at the Yates Blodgett (Birkett Mills) receiving house. The measurements were made on two bins taken from different parts of the field. The results indicate that there is no simple correction, and that a calibration of your own meter against the receieing house meter is worthwhile. The receiving house manager is usually happy to help you do that.
Heated-air dryers can also be used to dry buckwheat. Keep the drying air temperature below about 110 F to avoid killing the germ, darkening the groat, or causing other seed damage. As soon as the buckwheat has dried to 16%, use unheated air either in the dryer or in storage to cool the grain to within 10 F of the outdoor temperature.
žBuckwheat in Ohio,Ó AGF-116-95. Walter H. Schmidt. Ohio State University Extension, Department of Horticulture and Crop Science, Columbus OH. 1995.
žLatent heat of vaporization in buckwheat using the data of equilibrium moisture content.Ó A. Tagawa, S. Murata, and H. Hayashi. Transactions of the ASAE 36(1)113-118. 1993.
Personal communication. Steve Edwardson. Minn-Dak Growers, Inc., Grand Forks ND. 1996.
Personal communication. Kenneth J. Hellevang. North Dakota State University Extension Service, Department of Agricultural Engineering, Fargo ND. 1996.
žWheat and Barley Storage,Ó AG-FS-5947. William F. Wilcke and Kenneth J. Hellevang. Minnesota Extension Service, Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering, St. Paul MN. 1992.
žWheat and Barley Drying,Ó AG-FS-5949. William F. Wilcke and Kenneth J. Hellevang. Minnesota Extension Service, Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering, St. Paul MN. 1992.
Dr. Bill Wilcke
Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering
University of Minnesota
219 Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering Building
1390 Eckles Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55108-6005
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