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Post-Harvest Sunflower Storage Tips

Monday, November 15, 2004
filed under: Harvest/Storage

Consider cleaning sunflower before putting it in storage to help maintain quality.

Dry sunflower seeds before storage if they’re harvested wetter than 10%.

Always keep in mind that sunflower is an oil-based crop, and fine fibers from sunflower seeds pose a constant fire hazard. Prevent dust and “fines” from accumulating, and keep a fire extinguisher on hand when harvesting and drying sunflower.

Don’t be fooled by sunflower coming from a dryer with shells that are drier than the kernels inside. For example, a moisture meter may give a reading of 10%, then climb back up to 12% again the next morning. Moisture rebound can be estimated by placing a sample from the dryer in a covered jar and rechecking the moisture after 12 hours.

Run fans and cool sunflower to about 20 to 25 degrees, and then hold them at that point. Safe storage of oil and confection sunflower over the winter is 10% or below.

Don’t turn fans off too early. Sample the last exit point to make sure moisture has been pulled or pushed through the grain adequately. If you’re pushing it through from the bottom, then check the grain at the top. If you’re sucking the air from the top, then sample at the bottom of the bin.

Monitor the moisture and temperature of seed in storage. Check the condition of stored grain about every two weeks while grain is cooling, then about monthly after grain has cooled. A check should include measurements of moisture content and temperature at several locations.

Online Resources for Postharvest Grain Storage Tips And Information (search publications for “grain storage”)

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