Spring clean keeps harvest insects lean
21 September 2018
The arrival of spring brings with it favourable growing conditions and along with this comes an associated increase in grain insect pests.
“With harvest approaching, crop growers are encouraged to start preparations for insect-free handling and storing of the new grain,” Agriculture Victoria Grains Biosecurity Officer Jim Moran said.
“Avoiding new infestations and effectively controlling any current insect populations takes time, money and resources but ensures that returns are maximised,” Mr Moran said.
He said to prevent stored grain insect pests from becoming a problem, hygiene strategies should be put in place now.
This means following a series of steps before, during and after harvest, such as closely monitoring grain storages by sieving grain and installing insect traps now as temperatures inside storages rise and insect activity increases.
“Increasing temperatures are likely to stimulate stored grain insect pest activity and growers need to know what insects are present to control them effectively. Different stored grain insects vary in their susceptibility to treatments, growers should consider all best practice control options to obtain maximum benefits.
Other steps to consider, include:
- Ensure grain from this year’s harvest cannot be mixed with grain from previous harvests that could be contaminated with insects.
- Clean up any grain residues/spills around storages, in sheds and handling areas to prevent attracting insects for a feed.
- Thoroughly clean out all equipment, including empty grain storages, grain handling and harvesting equipment, silos, aeration ducts, augers and conveyers, harvesters, field bins and trucks, and apply a structural treatment such as a desiccant dust to each surface prior to use.
- If fumigation is required, only do so in gas tight, sealable storages and apply the prescribed volume to ensure effective insect control. Insects will develop resistance if they survive as a consequence of being exposed to incorrect fumigant levels.
- Seek advice from an authorised reseller and then only treat grain as per the label instructions.
- If possible, plan for the capability to aerate the new crop in the silo as a cooler environment slows down the breeding cycle, making it easier to control any insects that may get into the silo.
- Repair seals around hatches, latches and chutes to prevent insects gaining access.
- Get advice now on what types of protectants to use and how best to apply if you plan to store grain for lengthy periods of time.
If you would like a free copy of the Monitoring Stored Grain on Farm booklet, or any other biosecurity information relating to grain growing and storage, please contact Mr Moran on (03) 5430 4479.
If you see anything unusual, call the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline 1800 084 881.
Contact Name: Deb Banks
Contact Number: 0447 388 193
Categorised under: Agriculture,Biosecurity