Published: 2009-01-20

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Jennifer Gerson, working in Liberia, wrote to us about seed storage. While Jen was studying at ECHO she had read an article about seed storage in EDN 86, and also received instruction in using rice as a desiccant to lower the humidity in seed storage containers. She wrote, “…The humidity has been above 80% the entire time I’ve been here and it’s rained every day, sometimes heavily…I brought over a handful of zip-loc freezer bags to store seeds. So I cooked some rice in a frying pan over the fire just for about five minutes. Some even got darker than I wanted but I thought I’d see if it would work anyway. And [the relative humidity inside the bag has] dropped down to 18% and stayed there. So you can tell Tim and Bob they don’t have to bake the rice for an hour…5 minutes on the stove seems to do the same thing.” [An advantage is that using a pan on the stove would use far less propane or wood than drying the rice in the oven.]