SUMMARY: In moist hay allowed to self-heat aerobically in Dewar flasks, the pattern of temperature change with time was affected considerably by the type of hay and duration of storage, but there was a relationship between water content and maximum temperature reached. Below 29% water content there was little heating or antigen production; in the critical range of 29-34% water content, different lots of hay self-heated to different temperatures between 33 and 55° and varied widely in their content of farmer's lung hay antigen complex (FLH), the wetter hays usually producing the more antigen; all samples with 40% water heated to 65° and produced FLH antigen, associated with the presence of Progressively less antigen, especially in the lower regions of the flasks, was produced as water content increased from 47 to 68%. Moist barley and oat grain also self-heated and produced FLH antigen, usually only in the middle of the grain mass, where was most abundant; the drier upper layers and the lower regions where excess water accumulated were free from the antigen.


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