Loading quality procedures include: using proper drying techniques; minimizing grain transfers by optimizing handling and storage; operating augers and legs at capacity and at slowest possible speeds; only storing grain in aerated structures, recording grain moistures going into bins and screening for mycotoxins. Benefits of proper loading include: reduction of stress cracks and brittleness.
Aeration specifically means maintaining low grain temperatures as long as possible during storage; running fans appropriately or installing automatic fan controllers; and installing adequate exhaust vents to help avoid condensation. Aeration benefits include the fact that cooler grain maintains condition longer; nonuniform moisture from high-temperature drying is equalized; and excess moisture introduced from condensation is reduced or eliminated.
The final part of the acronym is Monitoring which includes installation of temperature monitors; checking stored grain regularly for temperature, moisture, insects and molds; repairing any leaky roofs, seals or joints. Benefits of proper monitoring are temperature changes and damp grain are detected early; heat generated by insect or mold activity can be handled early; and finally moisture introduced via leaks is prevented. More detail can be found online at: http://www.ces.purdue.edu/extmedia/ID/ID-207.html.
Quality — Keep it Everybody’s Job
Hopefully, we have provided you with several different ways to look at quality, and have made the case that you must continually remind, educate and monitor your employees regarding quality. Quality can be quantified and definitely has value. Some companies find it useful to institute incentives for employees based on quality. You will have to decide if such an approach is worthwhile for your business.
In addition, good quality can often be traced to attentive, concerned employees — and we know that good employees are a result of proper higher practice standards and equitable salaries — things that definitely fall under your purview as manager! So, best wishes for keeping quality “top of the mind” for you and your workers.