Putting Science into Farmer Practice: Validation of the Salt and Bottle Method to Determine Grain Moisture in Stored Maize
International Journal of Science, Technology and Society
Volume 3, Issue 2, March 2015, Pages: 51-54
Received: Feb. 3, 2015; Accepted: Feb. 19, 2015; Published: Mar. 6, 2015
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Author
Ngatia Christopher Mugo, Postharvest Research Scientist; Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI), Kabete, Nairobi, Kenya
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Abstract
Maize storage among rural farmers is a common practice to conserve grain for future use and income generation. Storage is done in a variety of structures with the aim to maintain quality at an acceptable level. Farmers and other players in the grain trade know the negative influence of moisture and well dried grain stores better irrespective of the structure used. Introduction of metal silos for storage to reduce pest damage and the reliance on toxic chemicals for their control, did not address grain drying. Natural drying, a common practice among farmers has played vital role but with the new technology, a method that would determine when grain was adequately dry was needed. The Catholic Relief Services introduced the ‘salt and bottle’ method which works on the principle that dry salt does not stick on to a dry surface. The question was, at what moisture level would salt not stick to grain surface? The answer was provided through a laboratory assessment on maize samples collected from farmers in three dioceses, which indicated that between 12% and 16% grain moisture, negligible amounts of salt stuck on grain. At moisture above 12% maize cannot store safely for prolonged period in metal silos and drying in the shade or in the sun showed the extra time needed for successful metal silo storage.
Keywords
Maize Storage, Grain Moisture Content, Drying, Salt and Bottle, Validation
To cite this article
Ngatia Christopher Mugo, Putting Science into Farmer Practice: Validation of the Salt and Bottle Method to Determine Grain Moisture in Stored Maize, International Journal of Science, Technology and Society. Vol. 3, No. 2, 2015, pp. 51-54. doi: 10.11648/j.ijsts.20150302.13
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