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By William Lockeretz

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The heat required for low temperature drying depends on the average air condition prevailing during the drying period. Crop Production TABLE 1 . 0 Often during late November and early December the relative hu­ midity in the Corn Belt averages about 80%. 5% moisture con­ tent. 5%. SOLAR COLLECTORS APPLIED TO DRYING Although recent experiments have shown that solar energy can be collected with relatively simple flat plate collectors and that solar energy can provide energy for the drying of grain, the economics of solar drying have not been determined.

Ref. 8. Adapted from Energy Use in Agriculture 33 STUDY PROCEDURES Primary data concerning production practices, input util­ ization, machinery and equipment usage, and energy consumption were gathered from a sample of 210 farmers and ranchers from all areas of New Mexico. The data collected allowed a study of 18 agricultural products representing 94% of the cash receipts from agricultural marketings in the state during 1974. Table 1 indicates the gross value of farm and ranch marketings in New Mexico during 1974 (the most recent year of complete information).

Since sunshine is available everywhere, discussions of the use of solar energy for crop drying have been presented by researchers from a large geographic area. Kranzler, Bern and Kline [9] reported from Iowa, a major corn producing state, and Baird and Bagnall [2] discussed solar drying in Florida. Furthermore, solar energy is being considered as a source of energy for drying a variety of crops. Meyer, Keener and Rol­ ler [10] included soybeans in their solar grain drying experi­ ment and Butler and Troeger [6] reported on solar drying of peanuts.

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