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Seed Drying Equipment

CFW produces seed drying equipment designed to maximise the life of seeds for viability and usability. CFW is a well-established industry leader in dryers and fans, and supplies products and services to a wide variety of customers who rely on economical production in adverse conditions. Both batch and continuous drying equipment is available.

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Seed drying helps to ensure a long shelf life for seeds by preventing fungal growth and premature germination. The appropriate moisture content is the single most important factor contributing to seed longevity. Excessively high moisture produces conditions suitable for the breeding of harmful insects such as weevils, mould growth and increased seed respiration which can raise temperatures (sometimes high enough to cause a fire).

The drying technique influences the quality of the final product considerably. Drying seeds by direct sunlight can harm viability, especially in the case of dark seeds, because the temperature is difficult to control. Slow drying can lead to fungal infestation.

Ceiling fan ventilation combined with air conditioning is the safer option for seed drying and is quick too. Accurate airflow and balanced air exchange is important to ensure consistent drying. Hot air drying can also be used, but care must be taken to avoid excessively high temperatures that can lead to case hardening. This occurs when the surface dries out quickly, leading to inadequate drying of the core and possible misleading results from moisture content testing that measure mainly the surface. When the moisture subsequently redistributes itself across the seed, seed will be subject to all the same decay processes that drying is designed to avoid. The use of relatively low temperatures also reduces safety risks.

A number of heated-air drying designs are used. In general, more fans, or fans with more powerful motors, are needed for continuous drying systems than for batch systems. Once seeds have been dried, continued airflow without heating may be applied to cool the seeds while preventing condensation.