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For those who make their living by working the land, it is a great satisfaction to be able to observe a field of maize, sorghum or beans that is about to be harvested.

But what a disappointment it is to discover that often, after the harvest, a large part of the grain produced has been lost, or has so badly deteriorated that it is unfit to eat or to sell.

What happened, and when? And above all, what can be done, after so much effort, so many hours devoted to field-work, to avoid post-harvest losses?

Before attempting to answer these questions, it is a good idea to briefly summarize the series of operations which the grain undergoes after the harvest.

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