Low cost computer based system for quality evaluation and preservation of grains stored in silobags
Grain growers in Latin America are concerned on how to ensure the quality and safety of the storage method for their crops. This concern is derived from the fact that the storage conditions strongly influence both the quality of the food that people consume and the profits that growers can obtain from their production.\nTo preserve the quality of the grains, the storage strategy must fulfill several requirements e.g. to protect grains against bad weather, to diminish the badly effect produced by insects and microorganisms and to maintain for the longer time as possible the initial quality conditions in which grains have been received.\nIn addition to those requirements, in the last years, some factors have leaded the growers, specially small and medium ones, to develop ad-hoc strategies for the storage and quality assurance of their grains. For example, most small farmers cannot afford the cost of traditional storage methods (such as galvanized silos), there is an insufficiency (and in some cases an absence) of suitable routes or railroads to send out the production to the storage places, the market conditions are subjected to significant variations that make it more convenient for farmers to sell their crop not close to harvest time.\nIn this context, we observe a great expansion in Argentina, Uruguay and Chile of an ad-hoc low-cost storage technique named “harvest bags” that consists in keeping the grains into hermetic polyethylene bags which are stored in the same field of crop (on-farm). The term “harvest bags” is colloquial and other terms are often used, e.g. “silobags”. In Argentina the most common term is “silobolsas”.