GRDC National grain storage extension project

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The GRDC Grain Storage Extension Project has developed an information hub for growers, advisers and storage manufacturers.

This site provides grain storage workshop details, best-practice guides and downloadable resources on a range of grain storage activities. 

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Grain aeration

Read: ‘Aeration cooling for pest control’ fact sheet. Grain aeration provides growers with a powerful tool to maintain grain quality during harvest and storage. Aeration cooling may not eliminate the need for chemical insect control, but it will dramatically slow insect development.

Watch: Grain storage consultant Peter Botta gives useful tips on cooling aeration in silos as part of a grain storage series for the GRDC’s Ground Cover TV.

Grain quality

Check: Grain storage checklist. This checklist and guide to grain storage best practice is useful to record site information and keep track of seasonal monitoring activities including fumigation, insect checks, grain-quality testing and aeration cooling. Growers and grain buyers can use the checklist to monitor grain quality management.

Safety around grain storage

Read: ‘Stay safe around grain storage’ fact sheet. This guide aims to provide a safe workplace for everyone on the farm, including workers, contractors, families, visitors and the owner/managers. The fundamental approach to grain storage safety is the same as for all other farming activities. Safety is a three-step process: identify hazards, assess risk and address the hazard.

Watch: Stay Safe around Grain Storage’ video.

Grain storage facilities

Read: Grain Storage Facilities: Planning for Efficiency and Quality booklet. This grains industry guide outlines what factors growers should consider when selecting the right storage structure for their business – whether it be silos, storage bags or sheds – including capacity, construction, life span, pest-control options, health and safety considerations, proximity to harvest location, loading/unloading options, and cleaning and maintenance factors. The guide includes a checklist for buying silos.

Economics of grain storage

Calculate: Economics of On-farm Grain Storage: Cost–Benefit Analysis booklet. As growers continue to expand on-farm grain storage, the question of economic viability gains significance. To make a sound financial decision, growers need to compare the expected returns from grain storage with expected returns from other farm business investments, such as more land, equipment or paying off debt. By calculating the costs and benefits of on-farm storage, growers can identify a return-on-investment figure to compare with other investment choices. An Excel template is available for personalised cost–benefit calculations to compare different storage types or varying storage scenarios.

Insect control

Read: ‘Grain storage pest control guide – northern/southern regions and western region’ fact sheet. The tolerance for live pests in grain sold off-farm is nil. With growers increasing the amount of grain stored on-farm, an integrated approach to pest control is crucial. This guide takes growers through strategies such as effective grain hygiene and aeration cooling, which can overcome 85 per cent of pest problems, correct fumigation procedure (in pressure-tested, sealed silos) and monthly monitoring of stored grain for moisture, temperature and pests.

Grain hygiene and structural treatments

Read: ‘Hygiene and structural treatments for grain storage’ fact sheet. When it comes to controlling pests in stored grain, prevention is better than cure. Grain residues in storages or older grain stocks held over from last season provide ideal breeding sites. Meticulous grain hygiene combined with structural treatments, such as diatomaceous earth, can play a key role in reducing the number of stored-grain pests.

Watch: Demonstration video by Chris Newman, Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia, on how to apply diatomaceous earth to a grain silo for insect control.

Storage pests and insects

Read: Stored Grain Pests Identification – The Back Pocket Guide 2011. This guide provides a snapshot of common pests found in stored grain in Australia. The tolerance for live storage pests in grain sold off-farm either for the domestic human consumption market or for the export market is nil. With more grain being stored on-farm growers need to identify pests early and monitor – at the very least – monthly. Regular inspection by sieving grain from the top and bottom of silos will provide an early warning of insects present. 

More information:

Grain Storage Hotline
1800 WEEVIL (1800 933 845) 

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Region National, West