How long will wheat store w/o special packing? : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

I've read various messages about packing wheat for long term storage. But, how long will wheat berries store without any special measures being taken. That is, if I buy a bag of wheat berries, keep them in their bag and put the bag in a cool, dark, relatively low-humidity, bug/rodent free location, how long can I expect them to last?

(In humid Egypt, they've apparently lasted for centuries, but I know I can't expect that.)

-- Ron Southwick (, October 20, 1998


Till the bugs hatch. I think the Egyptians spread it in the sun and let it kill the bugs eggs.

-- Paul Davis (, October 20, 1998.

Remember that Egyptian grain was kept dark and cool for years.

The following quote is from Walton Feed web site,

"As a general rule for hard grains, hermetically sealed in the absence of oxygen, plan on a storage life of 10-12 years at a stable temperature of 70 degrees F. They should keep proportionately longer if stored at cooler temperatures."

Much good food storage information there. Another source is Captain Dave's survival center at:

Check out the food storage FAQ there.

Hard grains includes wheat. This is a very conservative figure, but notice that it does include hermetic sealing, and the removal of oxygen. I've heard figures of 3 to 5 years for wheat that is wrapped in a poly bag or thrown into a sealed bucket without oxygen absorbers or the use of carbon dioxide to remove osygen.

Actually, the best bet to kill off bugs is to freeze the grain.

-- rocky (, October 20, 1998.

And if they last well, can they be used for planting after being without O2 or frozen? I saw this question asked on another thread, but missed an answer. I especially would like to know re the freezing. As Craig has stated frequently (and me) it's COLD up here for a good part of the year.

-- Tricia the Canuck (, October 20, 1998.


I talked to Cory Jensen at Lehigh Mills about getting Nitrogen packed wheat, and he said that grained packed like that would NOT sprout later. Re the freezing, I didn't ask him, but I'm just a few miles south of Ontario, and it gets -30 degrees here. I know that seeds that have fallen, etc. and been out in the cold sprout, so it seems that would be a good prospect.

My hesitation about freezing is that I haven't ROOM in my freezer. Maybe I should put the wheat outside in the garage during a cold snap? I wonder if that would be too wet...

-- Arewyn (, October 21, 1998.

Didn't they store the wheat with the bodies of the Pharoahs in that part of the pyramid which was meant to preserve or bestow everlasting life. Build a pyramid-shaped storehouse,plot the position of the burial chamber.

-- Richard Dale (, October 21, 1998.

I have gathered acorns and frozen/thawed/frozen/thawed them several times to see if the bugs could be eradicated. after the 3rd 2 day round of freezing and thawing there were still bugs hatching in the acorns - not sure if this applies to wheat but I wouldn't bet that freezing would do it. Try a homebrew-type CO2 outfit (about 100 bucks) to purge your storage containers - the bugs won't hatch in a pure CO2 environment and oxidation of the wheat won't be a prob.

Anyways thats my 2 cents...


-- Brian Errett (, October 21, 1998.

From Geri Guidetti's "Living Well on Wheat"

"Moisture content should be 10 percent or less. In clean grain with a moisture content below 10%, insects are unable to reproduce.To ensure that your wheat is both dry and insect-free, place wheat not more than 3/4 inch deep in a shallow baking pan and place in a 150 degree (F) oven for about 20 minutes. Leave the oven door slightly ajar to allow moisture to escape. ..."

"Another method for long-term storage of wheat and wheat products is freezing, but storing large quantities economically is difficult. It is a highly energy intensive process, requiring uninterrupted, often expensive electricity. It is, however, highly effective for preservation of both nutrients and seed viability as long as the moisture content is very low. Wheat seed which was too moist when frozen will retain its nutrients, but the cells of the seed that contain too much water will swell and burst on freezing, effectively killing the seed as a source of sprouts or future plantings."

Good pamphlet. for ordering info

-- Elbow Grease (, October 21, 1998.

Thanks, everyone for the very useful information. Now I have to find somewhere to buy wheat berries in Canada (I think they're pretty picky about importing agricultural produce, and I want stuff I know will grow in this climate)...

-- Tricia the Canuck (, October 22, 1998.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ