Grain dryers perform a vital task in the modern food chain. The concept is simple enough, with the reduction in moisture content of the grain from up to 30% to as little as 8%, depending upon the type of grain being dried. Grains can include a wide range of crops, from wheat and corn to barley or oats. Drying is carried out to limit the growth of microbes and low temperatures are also desirable.
In the US, off-farm continuous grain elevators are the preferred grain drying method. While in Europe, the typically smaller farms are better suited to the mix flow dryer type. A batch dryer is mostly used on the farm itself and they are normally made up of a bin through which heated air flows horizontally from a central cylinder with a perforated steel surface. The air flows across the grain radially before being expelled into the atmosphere. The drying time of the grain varies widely, form around one to four hours depending on many factors, such as the type of grain, moisture content, atmospheric conditions and depth of grain in the dryer.
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