Drying reduces grain moisture content to a safe level for storage. It is the most critical operation after harvesting a rice crop.
When rice is harvested, it will contain up to 25% moisture. High moisture level during storage can lead to grain discoloration, encourage development of molds, and increase the likelihood of attack from pests. It can also decrease the germination rate of the rice seed.
It is important to dry rice grain as soon as possible after harvesting---ideally within 24 hours. Delays in drying, incomplete drying or ineffective drying will reduce grain quality and result in losses.