How to improve Grain Storage and the one thing growers forget.
Whether you’re storing seed for next season or hanging onto grain and waiting for the right price, it’s essential to reduce potential insect damage. Insect damaged grain can be degraded and quality can be severely reduced, along with your potential profits. Here are four ways to improve grain storage.
1. Make sure your equipment and storage areas are ready and clean.
Start by making sure your grain storage equipment is adequately cleaned and sealed. Surfaces can be treated with an insecticide, such as a Fenitrothion product. There are also powders such as Dryacide which can be blown around in bins, sheds and machinery to provide a residual barrier from insects. The most efficient practice to remove pests would be to also treat grain with a residual insecticide liquid or some aluminium phosphine tablets (phostoxin, i.e. Fumitoxin or QuickPhos). Also, make sure you’re not storing grain with high moisture content either, aim for less than 12.5% (the lower the better). It also pays to try and harvest seed to be kept prior to any harvest rainfall.
2. Don’t rely on memory – keep records.
It’s essential to keep records for several reasons. One is to ensure you’re adhering to any withholding periods that may affect grain saleability. But it’s also crucial to ensure proper timing for insect treatments such as phostoxin tablets, that need a full exposure period, a ventilation period, and a withholding period. My favourite thing to use is a big black texta and write detail on bins even if it looks a bit untidy. If you haven’t got a pocketbook to write details down, there’s now an app for you. The GRDC has created a handy app available on app stores that you can use to keep track of your stored grain details. The “Stored Grain” app can record details such as grain type, variety, grade, quantity, paddock/source, date filled, date emptied and who it was sold to, for your records and quality assurance tracking. Each time storage is monitored in the app it allows you to record the date, temperature, moisture content, pests identified, the treatment details and any other notes. The app also provides guides for pest ID, fumigation, hygiene and aeration. Do yourself a favour and download now!
3. You might want to include a residual treatment.
If you’re looking for more long term protection, you’ll want to look at treating with a knockdown plus a residual or Insect Growth Regulant (IGR), this will provide a knockdown of any immature insects and long term protection. A popular product at the moment for residual insecticide is Freezone’s Smart Grain Dual. Smart Grain Dual combines the best of two active’s, 60g/l S-methoprene and 600g/l Fenitrothion, to provide a broader range of protection for more pests. The Fenitrothion will kill any live moths or immature insects in the grain, and the S-methoprene will protect against further insect breeding for up to 9 months. The greatest benefit of Smart Grain Dual is that it saves you the time and hassle of having to buy the two products separately, working out rates, and mixing them yourself. Smart Grain Dual protects against OP resistant lesser grain borer’s, and also a range of other pests. It’s registered in wheat and barley (including malt), and the withholding period is only 24 hours. It’s Available in 500mL (treating 50 tonne) and 2.5L (250 tonne) pack sizes. However, if there are live mature adult weevils present the only product for successful control is phostoxin / aluminium phosphine tablets.
4. Make sure your treatment matches your target.
Got Fenitrothion in your shed and thought you’d use it to wipe out Lesser Grain Borer’s? Think again. Make sure what you’re targeting matches with what you’re treating. Always read labels and check the table below to ensure you’re not wasting your time and money (and future profits from that grain!).
5. Check your MRL’s and Withholdings.
This is the one thing that’s easy to forget. MRL’s and Withholding Periods are things that are important to abide by, so it’s critical that you go by the product label. If not adhered too, you could jeopardize the market that the grain is being sold into.