Don’t forget your grain this winter

With grain losses due to pest damage costing up to £50/metric tonne farmers are being encouraged to check their stores weekly to protect against insect damage.

To provide advice and guidance on maintaining value and avoiding losses, the Bayer Pest Solutions Team will be on hand on stand 1.60 at Croptec on 28 and 29 November.

“Once insects access grain stores, infestation can escalate quickly, with heightened pest activity causing hotspots that encourage fungus and mould development,” explains Ken Black, Bayer rural hygiene manager.

“It’s important to check stores on a weekly basis, firstly assessing the temperature and moisture of the grain, as warm and damp conditions are conducive of insect presence.

“To prevent damage from some of the most common insects, such as the Grain Weevil and Lesser Grain Borer, I’d recommend aiming for temperatures below 15°C and a moisture content under 15%,” he says.

“If the readings exceed these thresholds, then the use of store ventilation will help to bring them down.”

On top of this, insect levels should be monitored using pitfall traps, that sit above the grain surface to pick up any crawling insects.

“Ideally traps need to be placed every four metres to give an accurate and prompt measurement for pest pressure, so that rapid action can be taken to rectify the issue and keep losses to a minimum.

“However, if the infestation is heavy, the grain may need to be removed and cleaned, before returning to the store. If re-infestation is likely, then both the building and grain will require treatment with K-Obiol®,” concludes Ken.

For further information, visit the Bayer Environmental Science stand, number 1.60, at Croptec. Alternatively, visit


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About The Author

John Swire - Deputy editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer as well as responsibility for the Agronomist and Arable Farmer and Farm Business websites. After 17 years milking cows on the family farm John started writing about agriculture in 1998 and has since written for a variety of publications and has developed a wide circle of contacts within the industry. When not working John is a season ticket holder at Stoke City and also of late has become a fitness freak, listing cycling, swimming and walking as his exercises of choice.