G4 Practical tips – drying grain

Food Security
  • When storing grains, they should be completely dry. Otherwise mould and disease can develop.
  • A simple test is to check by biting on the grains. A very sharp cracking sound between the teeth is a sign that the seed is dry enough to be stored.
  • Well dried grains in good stores should stay in good condition for a year. Storing grains in cool granaries or store-rooms helps to lessen the risk of damage due to any dampness that may remain in the grain.
  • Avoid the build-up of pests, either through leaving grains to dry in the field or by leaving the leaves and stalks attached.
  • The diagrams show three methods of drying grains. Methods B and C use plastic sheeting which will protect the grains at night or before rain.


  • Discuss methods of drying grains. Are there any problems which participants have found in drying grains well? Where do people normally dry their grain?
  • Are the areas where grain is stored as much in the shade as possible? Why is this important?
  • Consider how to use the two ideas which use plastic sheeting or tarpaulin for keeping grains dry while they are laid out on the ground. Is there suitable material available to make these covers? If possible, try producing a sample of the circular cover together. Use a large needle to thread string around the edge of the circle, leaving extra plastic to cover the gap when the string is pulled tight.