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How are Oats Transported?

A major America crop, it’s no surprise people would ask how are oats transported? The resilient grain is a staple in many diets around the world and therefore needs to

By

Jon-Michael Soracchi
March 25, 2020
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A major America crop, it’s no surprise people would ask how are oats transported? The resilient grain is a staple in many diets around the world and therefore needs to be moved from the fields in the midwest where they mostly grow to all points around the country and other parts of the world.

How are oats, transported, you ask? Transporting oats is not a complicated aspect of the supply chain process. As long as they are kept cool and dry, you’re already ahead of the game. To read more about how oats are transported and the things that should be done to help them retain their nutritional and flavor qualities, continue below. 

Where are Oats Grown in the U.S.?

Where are Oats Grown in the U.S.

In 2019, the United States produced 53.14 million bushels of oats. The versatile grain is good for both human consumption and for animals due to its high fiber, low cholesterol level and a 4.8 percent fat content that makes it ideal for horses and chicken to feed on. For people who suffer from gluten allergies or sensitivity, oats are great — the plant is gluten-free. Also, oats have been linked with lowering the risk of heart disease.

The top producers of oats among the states are South and North Dakota, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa. The peak for growing oats in the United States came in 1955, where the country planted 47.5 million acres. In 2018, by comparison, just 2.9 million acres were planted in America. Still oatmeal, cereal and granola are each a part of some Americans’ diets due to their health benefits and feeling of fullness they give you in relation to other foods.

Funnily enough, planting oat crops in rotation with soybeans and corn can actually help increase the latter two’s yield by 20 and 5 percent, respectively.  

Looking for a solution to move truckload freight? R+L Global Logistics handles truckload shipping. Let us know when and we'll handle the rest.

Conditions for Shipping and Storing Oats

Like most crops, oats thrive when certain levels of temperature, humidity and moisture are maintained during both the shipping and storage portions of handling them. To keep them tasting fresh and avoid pests and fungi, the following guidelines are best to be heeded.

Temperature

If you want to keep your oats fresh for up to 12 months in storage, a temperature of 68 degrees fahrenheit or lower is advised. Higher than this can accelerate spoilage or just make the oats taste less than fresh. Molds reach their optimal range between 68 and 86 degrees fahrenheit, so you definitely do want to store oats in this range unless you want to see a big potential loss.

Moisture

The moisture content to storing oats should be at or less than 12.5 percent. The optimal level sits at 12 percent. 

If the moisture content is higher, then fungi can develop on the grain. If the oats are placed in storage at 59 degrees fahrenheit or cooler, this will slow or prevent the growth of fungus and the moisture content can be a little higher.

For shipping oats over a short distance, the moisture level can be at 14 percent and if the grains are being shipped through a very cold region, it can be as high as 15 percent.

In many cases, to prevent any moisture issues, oats are pre-dried. This is also an easy way to help limit the natural respiration of the grain and remove the key ingredients that foster mold to grow and spoilage to set in.

Humidity

Depending on the length of the transport, or if the oats are being stored, the relative humidity can be slightly different and works in concert with the moisture that can be present. 

For a long journey, a recommended relative humidity of 70 percent is ideal. This is in conjunction with a 12 percent moisture level. For a shorter journey, the relative humidity can be increased to 75 percent while the moisture can rise to 14 percent. In very cold weather, this can rise again to 80 percent with a moisture level of 15 percent.

To ensure the proper level of humidity (and moisture), an independent inspector will check this and present the shipper with a certificate verifying the information. 

Packaging Oats for Shipping

Packaging Oats for Shipping

Oats are generally shipped as bulk cargo, which means they are loaded into a vehicle unpackaged. Sometimes, if there are special conditions, the oats can be placed into bags. The grain can be transported by truck, railroad or ship (although this is less likely in the United States).

The requirements to ship oats are a cool, dry vehicle with proper ventilation to prevent the crop from overheating. If the journey of the oats is expected to have rain or snow, then packaging the plant ahead of time would be a smart move. 

How Long Can Oats be Stored?

Under optimal conditions, rolled oats can last up to 18 to 24 months at their best quality level. The conditions needed to extend the shelf life out are keeping the oats in a cool, dry place. Heat or wetness will deteriorate the oats. Wetness in particular will attract mold and insects, a bad combination for oats.

If you are storing an open package at home, putting the oats into an airtight container will extend their life. Or you can place the entire oats package into a resealable freezer bag and it should have the same effect.

As long as oats are properly stored, they are safe for consumption as long as they don’t show any signs of spoilage and the package is undamaged. 

Oat Transportation with R+L Global Logistics

Now that you’ve learned how oats are transported, make the next move to have your crop shipped by R+L Global Logistics. As a leader in third-party trucking logistics, we can help get your oats where you need them in the same fresh condition they were harvested from the fields in. We also handle everything from produce to fruit shipping, including freight transport during tart cherry season.

With a 99.5 percent on-time delivery rate, your oats will get where they need to be quickly and efficiently. R+L Global Logistics offers expedited shipping for those times your oats have to be there faster and responsive customer service is available as part of the service we provide to our customers.

So when you’re ready to have your oats transported by a trusted partner and industry leader, visit our website for a free freight quote or call us at (866) 353-7178. The R+L Global Logistics difference and our freight services will be apparent from the beginning.

Looking for a solution to move truckload freight? R+L Global Logistics handles truckload shipping. Let us know when and we'll handle the rest.

Where are oats grown in the U.S.?

The top producers of oats among the states are South and North Dakota, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa.

How do you package oats for shipping?

Oats are generally shipped as bulk cargo, which means they are loaded into a vehicle unpackaged. Sometimes, if there are special conditions, the oats can be placed into bags. The grain can be transported by truck, railroad or ship (although this is less likely in the United States).

What are the conditions for shipping and storing oats?

Like most crops, oats thrive when certain levels of temperature, humidity and moisture are maintained during both the shipping and storage portions of handling them.

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