Export file:


  • RIS(for EndNote,Reference Manager,ProCite)
  • BibTex
  • Text


  • Citation Only
  • Citation and Abstract

A simple low-cost method of determining whether it is safe to store maize

1 Department of Botany and Plant Pathology, Purdue University, 915 State Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA
2 Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, Purdue University, 225 South University Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA

Reliable moisture measurement during drying is key to ensuring that grain is dried adequately to meet market requirements and be safe from spoilage by fungi in storage. While simple hand-held moisture meters are available for use by farmers in industrialized countries, smallholder farmers in developing countries cannot afford these devices and rely on subjective methods based on touch and feel to determine grain moisture. In this study, a simple, low-cost method to determine whether maize is dry enough for storage was developed based on the use of an affordable hygrometer and EMC/ERH relationship for maize. The Mini Digital hygrometer, the lowest cost hygrometer of 5 types tested, was the best based on its accuracy, device-to-device variability and ability to clearly distinguish various moistures of maize. A simple illustrated information-card was developed to guide farmers on using the device and for testing its accuracy.
  Article Metrics

Keywords moisture content; hygrometer; maize; Zea mays; storage

Citation: Tim Tubbs, Charles Woloshuk, Klein E. Ileleji. A simple low-cost method of determining whether it is safe to store maize. AIMS Agriculture and Food, 2017, 2(1): 43-55. doi: 10.3934/agrfood.2017.1.43


  • 1.Hodges RJ, Buzby JC, Bennett B (2011) Postharvest losses and waste in developed and less developed countries: opportunities to improve resource use. J Agric Sci 149: 37-45.    
  • 2.Tefera T (2012) Post-harvest losses in African maize in the face of increasing food shortage. Food Secur 4: 267-277.    
  • 3.Hodges R, Bernard M, Rembold F (2014) APHLIS - Postharvest cereal losses in Sub-Saharan Africa, their estimation, assessment and reduction. Ispra, Italy: European Commission Joint Research Centre. 166.
  • 4.Young JH (1983) Moisture. In: Mitchell BV, editor. Instrumentation and Measurement for Environmental Sciences . St. Joseph, Mich: ASAE. 1-10.
  • 5.Chen CC, Morey RV (1989) Equilibrium relativity humidity (ERH) relationships for yellow-dent corn. Trans ASAE 32: 999-1006.    
  • 6.Bartosik RE, Maier DE (2007) Study of adsorption and desorption equilibrium relationships for yellow dent, white, and waxy corn types using the modified Chung-Pfost equation. Trans ASABE 50: 1741-1749.    
  • 7.Chen C (2000) Factors which effect equilibrium relative humidity of agricultural products. Trans ASAE 43: 673-683.    
  • 8.Chen C (2001) Moisture measurement of grain using humidity sensors. Trans ASAE 44: 1241-1245.
  • 9.Armstrong PR, Weiting M (2008) Design and testing of an instrument to measure equilibrium moisture content of grain. Appl Eng Agric 24: 617-624.    
  • 10.Armstrong PR, Casada ME, Lawrence J (2012) Development of equilibrium moisture relationships for storage moisture monitoring of corn. Appl Eng Agric 28: 677-683.    
  • 11.Standard (1999) Moisture measurement-grain and seeds. ASABE Standard S352.2 DEC97.
  • 12.Williams SB, Baributsa D, Woloshuk C (2014) Assessing Purdue Improved Crop Storage (PICS) bags to mitigate fungal growth and aflatoxin contamination. J Stored Prod Res 59: 190-196.    
  • 13.Standard (2012) Moisture relationships of plant-based agricultural products. ASABE Standard D245.6 OCT2007 W/Corr. 1 (R2012).
  • 14.Paulsen MR, Watson SA, Singh M (2003) Measurement and Maintenance of Corn Quality. In: White PJ, Johnson LA, editors. Corn: Chemistry and Technology . 2 ed. St Paul, MN: AACC. 159-219.
  • 15.Wexler A, Hasegawa S (1954) Relative humidity-temperature relationship of some saturated salt solutions in the temperature range of 0oto 50oC.J Res Natl Bur Stand 53: 19-26.    


This article has been cited by

  • 1. Kent J. Bradford, Peetambar Dahal, Johan Van Asbrouck, Keshavulu Kunusoth, Pedro Bello, James Thompson, Felicia Wu, The dry chain: Reducing postharvest losses and improving food safety in humid climates, Trends in Food Science & Technology, 2017, 10.1016/j.tifs.2017.11.002
  • 2. Tahmina Akter, M. Serajul Islam, Md. Mojammel Haque, J. Lowenberg-DeBoer, An experimental approach to estimating the value of grain moisture information to farmers in Bangladesh, Journal of Stored Products Research, 2018, 79, 53, 10.1016/j.jspr.2018.08.005
  • 3. Aroua Ammar, Imed Ben Aissa, Messaoud Mars, Mohamed Gouiaa, Comparative physiological behavior of fig (Ficus carica L.) cultivars in response to water stress and recovery, Scientia Horticulturae, 2020, 260, 108881, 10.1016/j.scienta.2019.108881
  • 4. Jonathan Bauchet, Stacy Prieto, Jacob Ricker‐Gilbert, Improved Drying and Storage Practices that Reduce Aflatoxins in Stored Maize: Experimental Evidence from Smallholders in Senegal, American Journal of Agricultural Economics, 2020, 10.1111/ajae.12106

Reader Comments

your name: *   your email: *  

Copyright Info: 2017, Charles Woloshuk, et al., licensee AIMS Press. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licese (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0)

Download full text in PDF

Export Citation

Copyright © AIMS Press All Rights Reserved