Corn, like many other types of cereal, needs to undergo stabilization processes in order not to degenerate during the storage phase. In fact, for its correct conservation, corn must be brought to a safe drying level that respects the terms of the law and allows it to be sold. Although once drying took place naturally, today it is no longer possible due to the large quantities collected and the ripening period in which solar radiation is not sufficient to evaporate excess water.
In some countries and especially in those cases where the harvest is low, the old sun drying process is still used, for example by placing a thin layer of corn on jute or polyethylene sheets and leaving them for several hours a day under the sunlight or drying groups of cobs knotted together.
However, to speed up the drying process, some farmers delay the harvest until the humidity of the grain drops further, increasing, however, the likelihood of self-fermentation, the attack of insects, fungi and aflatoxins. The produced mycotoxins would render the harvested corn unusable, thus nullifying the efforts of cultivation and harvesting and the possibilities of sale. In addition to the development of mold, letting the corn dry in the field also involves exposing the crop to unfavorable weather conditions and wildlife.
To ensure a correct and fast drying of the corn, it is necessary to remove the humidity through suitably calibrated dryers: pushing hot air between the kernels favors the evaporation of the humidity which, rising upwards, will be removed with the next jet of hot air. For effective and efficient drying – depending on the final use such as sowing, industry, livestock or human nutrition – it is necessary to find a balance between speed and temperature that allows the drying process to be carried out as quickly as possible and without damaging the grain.
This balance is achieved by drying at variable temperatures depending on the humidity of the product entering and leaving, the external temperature and humidity and the conformation of the grain, whether small, medium, large or flat grain. The goal is to obtain a residual humidity of 13-14%. The air temperature during drying should always be 90 ° C +/- 20 ° C, for example, 110 ° C for corn intended for sale.
Depending on the needs and characteristics of your crop, as well as on the intended use of the corn, Mecmar has various drying solutions that allow you to reduce waste and amortize any risks due to the climate, thanks to the possibility of storing the product and prepare it for subsequent uses. This results in increased productivity and, above all, profits. In this article, you can find out how to dry corn quickly to reduce losses with Mecmar solutions.
With Mecmar mobile dryers, corn can be dried from any moisture content, to be brought to safe drying level for storage. These dryers are characterized by the possibility of being transported thanks to the compact structure and wheels which make moving fast and practical. These are dryers with discontinuous cycle operation, that is they start and end a drying cycle on a certain volume of product, loaded and unloaded entirely at the completion of the process, which is why they represent the best solution for drying small (min 3 tons of products) or medium quantities (e.g. 25 tons) of cereal or for those who need to dry several batches of cereals or of different types.
For large quantities of corn, Mecmar offers continuous tower dryers. This solution also allows optimal drying of the cereal, in fact, it is treated without undergoing thermal changes and gradually cooled after the drying phase so that the temperature of the corn reaches just 6/7°C above the ambient temperature.
Among the advantages of using Mecmar tower dryers there is certainly the possibility of recovering the heat from the grain during the cooling phase, this allows for a significant reduction in fuel consumption, resulting in significant economic savings. After the drying treatment, the cereal undergoes a progressive decrease in temperature to reach the unloading area clean and cooled at room temperature.
From the experience in drying cereals and from the constant dialogue with customers and farmers, Mecmar has created the CD30 corn dryer that allows the drying of 14/15 tons of corn on the cob. This type of drying allows the grain to be treated while it is still attached to the cob, thus ensuring the protection of the germ throughout the drying process, thus allowing a high level of germination of the dried grains.
Mecmar has designed this dryer so that it can be easily assembled and used. Furthermore, the presence of a heat exchanger makes it ideal for gentle and respectful drying of the grain, using only hot and clean air without combustion products. This solution is particularly advantageous for those farmers who do not have combine harvesters for harvesting wheat and for small communities.
Those involved in the cultivation of cereals know well how in their interest it is not to lose any quantity of cultivated product due to incorrect conservation of their crops, therefore, prevent molds and deterioration due to humidity, in addition to the choice of correct conservation systems are fundamental choices to be made to reduce post-harvest losses.
Mecmar, with over forty years of experience and specialization in agricultural technologies, creates solutions that can be integrated into multiple contexts and adaptable to the most varied needs of farmers. Contact us: a team of experts will listen to your story and find the solution that best suits your reality.