The right spring-clean keeps insects away

29 September 2022

Warmer temperatures and longer days are a timely reminder to start preparing and planning for harvest.

Agriculture Victoria Grains Biosecurity Officer Jim Moran said with another La Niña on the way, effective grain hygiene, handling and storage, plays a key part in maximising returns.

“The onset of spring brings harvest planning and preparation to front of mind.”

“This should mean considering your tactics for controlling insects when harvesting, handling and storing the new grain."

“To prevent insects from damaging stored grain and limiting marketing opportunities, storage hygiene strategies are needed now,” he said.

Practical steps that can be taken on-farm at this time, include:

“If required, fumigate safely by strictly following the product label and associated safety precautions,” Mr Moran said.

“Always apply the correct dose for the volume of the silo for the prescribed time, to ensure effective insect control as insects can develop resistance if only partially exposed to fumigants.”

Mr Moran urged grain growers to get advice now on what types of protectants to apply on new grain going into medium and long-term storage.

“Remember, different stored grain insects vary in their susceptibility to insecticides, just as different chemicals are only suitable for specific commodities.

“If possible, get advice on your capability to aerate the new crop once inside the silo as a cooler environment slows down the insect breeding cycle, making them easier to control effectively.

“Farmers should do everything within their means to ensure grain from this year’s harvest can’t be mixed with grain from previous harvests, as it could be contaminated with insects and disease.

“Closely monitor grain storages for insect variety and numbers by regularly sieving grain and installing insect traps and of course, if you see anything unusual, call the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline 1800 084 881.”

Further information and assistance is also available by:

For more information contact Jim Moran at jim.moran@agriculture.vic.gov.au.

Media contact: Eliza Sears

Phone: 0427 204 125