Optimal Management of Molds in Stored Corn

Long term storage of corn is becoming more common due to the recent increase in the demand for corn by ethanol plants. Infection of maize kernels by toxigenic fungi remains a challenging storage problem despite decades of research. Experts in storage management propose the use of a combination of preventive and monitoring-based responsive strategies in response to mold risks. In this paper, a stochastic dynamic programming model is solved to determine the expected profitability and optimal combination, timing and intensity of the proposed mold management strategies using farmers’ existing infrastructure. The results show that even with relatively high monitoring costs, maintaining high quality grain using a monitoring based optimal mold management strategy costs less than the benefit it fetches. Farmers’ current typical practice of aerating the grain until the end of December and doing nothing thereafter bears a high risk of economic losses if grain is to be stored until later during the summer. Generally, the optimal mold management strategy depends on monitoring the biophysical conditions of the grain and the time period under consideration. If the in-bin temperature is high and less than 5% of kernels are mold damaged, then aerating when the outside temperature is at least 3oC less than the in-bin temperature and continuing to store the grain is the optimal strategy.


Issue Date:
2008
Publication Type:
Conference Paper/ Presentation
DOI and Other Identifiers:
Record Identifier:
https://ageconsearch.umn.edu/record/6572
PURL Identifier:
http://purl.umn.edu/6572
Total Pages:
38
Series Statement:
Selected Poster
470145




 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2020-10-28

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