This project was started in 2007 at the Indian Head Experimental Farm as an IHARF (Indian Head Agricultural Research Foundation) project under the supervision of Guy Lafond. Data was collected every year from two instrumented bins. I was given the data in 2010 with a vague mandate to find out what was happening in the bins as the fans ran continuously. Did the fans have to run continuously? Were there times during the day in which more drying was taking place?
The experiment was set up brilliantly such that readings were taken every hour and most importantly that RH and T sensors were placed to measure the discharge or exhaust air at the top of the bin as well as RH and T sensors measured the air entering the bin. This lead to the ability to measure the water going into the bin and the water leaving the bin and thus we could precisely track the drying, hour by hour. And the Diurnal Drying Cycle was determined.
In 2012 we got a grant from WGRF (Western Grains Research Foundation) and 4 more bins were instrumented to collect more data. Another three year grant from WGRF was obtained in 2015 to discover more. It was called:
New Insights into Natural Air Grain Drying (2015 – 2018)
Objective: To develop a fan control strategy using natural air that results in the safe storage of grain, that is efficient and results in less fan running time, and that results in more uniform drying of grain.
Benefit: Reducing the risk of grain spoilage and preventing revenue loss with on farm storage.