Cooling cottonseed as it comes from the gin, often at temperatures above 100°F, and preventing hot spots and moisture buildup requires good aeration management. Aeration to remove ginning heat usually is started as soon as the first lots are in storage. Although there are times when very little cooling occurs, experience has shown that seed quality can be maintained by running the aeration fans continuously until the facility is filled and conditioned.
Being hygroscopic, cottonseed will absorb moisture from or give up moisture to its surrounding air. Once gin heat has been removed, aeration fans should not be operated during high humidity periods of rain or fog. Ideally, cottonseed in storage should be cooled to 50° to 60°F by selecting cool dry days to run the fans.
Usually no additional aeration is necessary once the seed has been cooled to the desired temperature. Even so, seed temperatures should be monitored throughout the storage period, since hot spots occasionally develop. Many seed storage facilities are equipped with temperature monitoring systems. Seed temperature monitoring can also be accomplished by placing a thermometer in the exhausting aeration airflow and/or by hand inserting thermocouple probes attached to steel rods or electrical conduit.