Although many New South Wales grain growers have their sights firmly focused on the 2016 winter cropping season, they are being advised not to take their eyes off grain held in on-farm storage.
Grain storage specialists say aeration and pest prevention must remain front of mind for those growers with stored grain from the 2015 harvest and are encouraging growers to check storages regularly to ensure grain quality is maintained.
Simple aeration maintenance can dramatically improve airflow, and results from 2016 on-farm storage fumigation trials will be a key discussion point at upcoming Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) Grains Research Updates at Gilgandra on Wednesday July 20 and Narrabri on Friday July 22.
During an address to the Gilgandra and Narrabri Updates, Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) development agronomist Philip Burrill will outline how the combination of good storage hygiene and grain aeration provides growers with powerful tools to maintain grain quality and reduce pest problems.
“Grain temperatures below 20°C significantly reduce mould and insect development, including the additional benefit of cool aerated grain protecting planting seed’s germination and vigour,” Mr Burrill said.
“Aeration cooling will not eliminate the need to fumigate pests, but it dramatically slows insect development and reduces the number of years where insects are a problem.”
Mr Burrill, who is also involved in the GRDC’s Grain Storage Extension Project, said well-managed aeration cooling, combined with effective grain hygiene, could overcome 70% of pest problems.
Without aeration, grain is an effective insulator, so wheat and barley can maintain warm harvest temperatures around 30°C in storage for many months – ideal conditions for pests to breed.
“Stored grain should be monitored monthly. Keep storage records of pests, grain treatments, quality and temperature. When it comes time to sell grain that has been in storage, the last thing you want is a nasty surprise by finding the grain is infested with insect pests.”
Other grain storage topics being discussed at the GRDC Update at Chinchilla include effective fumigation strategies and the use of insect probe traps to locate and control insect pests early.
For more information, an agenda or to register for the Gilgandra or Narrabri GRDC Updates visit the GRDC website or contact ICAN on 02 9482 4930 or e-mail.
In the meantime, to support growers who store grain on-farm, the GRDC has established a Stored Grain Information Hub at this link. The hub contains extensive information on aeration and pest prevention and control strategies. Place “Checklist” into the search box to find a helpful checklist of best practices for farm storage facilities.
The GRDC’s Stored Grain National Information Hotline is also available to support growers with all their grain storage investments and practices. By phoning 1800 weevil (1800 933845), growers will be put in contact with their nearest grain storage specialist.
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