Preventing Insect Infestation During Fall Grain Storage

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Proper preparation and care before and after you store your grain can prevent insect infestations. Here’s how:

Decide which bin you will use for each crop.

How you clean and prepare an empty bin depends on what type of crop you plan to store in it.

Avoid using chemical insecticides, for example, malathion, on bins in which you plant to store canola and flax. These oilseed crops absorb this type of pesticide and the residue remains in the seed.

When you plan to store cereal grains, there are many approved chemical insecticides you can use to treat the interiors of empty grain bins.

Clean your bin thoroughly before you store grain in it.

Insects in grain bins feed on debris, dockage and leftover cereal grain.

Clean the bin with high-pressure water or air, a heavy broom and/or a vacuum. Don’t forget to clean aeration systems.

When you add clean grain to the bin, make the grain as level as you can.

Aeration is more effective when the grain pile is level.

Grain is a very good insulator. If warm grain is stored and left undisturbed, convection currents may develop and cause hot spots and condensation.

Bring the temperature of the grain down to +15C as soon as possible.

If you lower moisture content below 14.5 per cent and cool the grain below +15C you can prevent insect pest problems in the stored product.

Most stored product pests do not feed or reproduce below +15C.

Large amounts of grain that are stored above 14.5 % moisture content can develop heated regions.

Heat encourages fungal growth. Fungi and heat attract insects to stored grain.

Monitor the temperature of stored grain and aerate the grain bulk.

Check the temperature of the bin every two weeks. Aerate stored grain as soon as possible after harvest particularly if aeration can reduce the bulk temperature below +18C.

When the ambient temperature falls below that of the grain bulk (during the early evening, night and early morning), you can use aeration to reduce the temperature of the grain.

Aeration systems preserve stored grain and keep it dry by reducing the temperature of the grain and reducing moisture migration.

Always ensure that temperature fronts have moved fully through the grain bulk prior to stopping the aeration.

If you need to temporarily store grain on the ground, prepare the site properly.

Make sure the ground is hard and the site is concave.

Determine how you will aerate the grain while storing it.

Cover the grain to the best of your ability

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