What is the Right Moisture Content for Storing Maize and Other Grains

Last updated: August 17, 2021

To ensure that grains last long during storage, they must be stored at certain recommended moisture levels. The moisture content at which grains are stored can determine how long they last during storage. Grains that are too wet form a good environment for the growth of mould and aflatoxins. Insects and other pests also thrive in grains with high moisture content.

Different grains have different moisture content at which they should be stored, which means that before storage, it is important to determine the moisture content of your grains before storage.

The right moisture content for storing grains

Here are some normal moisture readings for some grains that have been estimated by agricultural scientists;

  • Maize: the ideal moisture content of maize or corn should be 13% or less for storage. 
  • Rice:  Rice should be stored at not more than 12%. This minimizes grain quality deterioration
  • Millet: Millet should not be stored at more than 13% moisture content.
  • Soyabeans: It is recommended to store soyabeans at 13% moisture or less. For long terms storage, of over more than one planting season, soyabeans should be stored at 12% or less
  • Wheat: if you plan to sell soon, the moisture content should be at 13.5% or less  and if you plan to store for a year or more, it should be at 12.5% or less

How to measure the moisture content in your grains

The best way to measure the moisture content in your grains is to use a grain moisture meter. Grain moisture meters help you accurately determine the moisture content in your grains and know whether your grains are dry enough for storage of have to be dried some more. There are different kinds of moisture meters on the market.

Our GrainMate grain moisture meter is one of the most affordable and effective grain moisture meters on the market currently and is suitable for measuring the moisture content in many grains such as maize, soyabeans, wheat, rice, sorghum, millet and more.

GrainMate being used to measure the moisture content of a bag of maize

Take away

It is important for farmers and commodity traders to know what the right moisture readings are for grains. It helps them meet market requirements, helps them detect when grains are ready for storage, and helps reduce post-harvest losses.

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