Online Peanut Warehouse Ventilation Calculator
Available By Sharon Durham May
A calculator that helps peanut handlers and processors determine the
right amount of ventilation for their storage warehouses is available on the
Agricultural Research Service (ARS)
Butts and John Smith (retired) at the
National Peanut Research Laboratory in Dawson, Ga., and colleagues
conducted research to determine proper storage conditions. The result is an
online tool to help peanut growers, shellers and others calculate warehouse
capacity, dimensions, and headspace ventilation requirements for safe storage
The warehouse ventilation calculator can be accessed
When peanuts are harvested, the moisture content is too high for safe
storage and they must be cured until the moisture content is below 10 percent.
Curing normally occurs at a centralized facility capable of curing between 50
and 200 individual loads at the same time. After curing, the peanuts are
graded, unloaded and stored--still in the shell--in a large warehouse until
they are needed at the shelling plant for further processing and sale to a
peanut product manufacturer.
A typical bulk storage facility will hold between 2,000 and 10,000
tons of in-shell peanuts with a value of $800,000 to $4 million. Under ideal
storage conditions, the peanut value will decrease 2-3 percent, but under poor
storage conditions, losses can be as high as 10 percent. Good storage practices
include adequate ventilation of the space above the peanuts to remove
moisture-laden air and prevent condensation.
The calculator gives the recommended airflow rate based on changing
the volume of air in the space above the peanuts once every 2 or 3 minutes. The
calculator also provides the proper amount of inlet area. By selecting the
peanut market type that will be stored in the warehouse, the tool adjusts its
calculations to account for the differences among the types of peanuts.
ARS is the principal intramural scientific research agency of the
U.S. Department of Agriculture.