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How do storage grain losses occur?
Various factors are responsible for the losses of grains during storage. These factors are as follows:
(i) Abiotic factors like moisture (present in food grains), humidity (of air), and temperature.
(ii) Biotic factors like insects, rodents, birds, mites, bacteria, and fungi.
Proper storage and packing of grains are important to protect them against moisture, micro-organisms, and insects. Moisture facilitates the growth of bacteria, which may cause spoilage. Therefore, food grains must be dried well before storage.
The attack by microbes or insects may lead to a loss of germination capacity in food grains. Hence, they should be stored in metallic containers or jute bags. Neem leaves can be added as they prevent the growth of microbes and insects because of the alkaloids present in them.
The containers and bags are placed in properly ventilated, cemented halls such as godowns. Silos and granaries are used for large-scale storage of grains, and specific chemical treatments are used to protect them from pests and microorganisms.
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