As on-farm grain storage increases, and the size of bins and silos expands it is even more important for everyone to understand the risks and causes of grain dust explosions. Anyone who handles grain, from family farms to county elevators to export facilities, should be informed on how to prevent grain dust explosions.

Kansas State University will offer its popular Combustible Dust Workshop at the Mid America Farm Show in Salina from 1 to 5 p.m. March 27.

"Grain dust does not discriminate between on-farm grain storage and commercial storage – all grain dust has the potential to create an explosion," said program coordinator and K-State assistant grain science professor, Kingsly Ambrose.

The workshop will create awareness regarding grain dust explosion hazards among workers and supervisors, Ambrose said. The workshops, along with handouts and lecture materials are offered free of charge to participants.

The initiative is funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor – Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Grain dust explosions are caused by five factors: powder-fine grain dust, confinement of dust in an enclosed space, dust dispersion, an ignition source and oxygen. Reducing combustible dust, keeping it out of the air and controlling ignition sources can significantly reduce the number and extent of grain dust explosions, Ambrose said.

Online registration for the workshops is available at (scroll down on the right side). More information is also available by contacting Ambrose at or 785-532-4091.