As farmers look ahead to harvest, they are being reminded that it is important not to overlook the importance of good grain store preparation and hygiene. Individuals wanting to learn more about how simple practices can help preserve the value of their harvest should speak to the Bayer team at Cereals.
Ken Black, Bayer rural hygiene manager, explains that there are several steps to take in order to prevent damage, pointing to the main culprits that comprise of the grain weevil and saw-toothed grain beetle.
“First and foremost, it’s imperative to empty and clean the store as early as possible ahead of harvest. Two months before would be ideal, but this isn’t always possible.
“After the initial clean-down the next step for success, that can sometimes be forgotten, is insect monitoring. It’s a really simple process, that’s cheap and easy to carry out, and can prevent grain rejections that could lead to substantial losses of up to £50/pmt,” he says.
There are two methods for monitoring insect activity in an empty site. The simplest option is to visually observe the area on a regular basis, paying particular attention to cracks and crevices, as pests often favour these hiding places.
Ken highlights that using sticky traps is an even more reliable way of highlighting pest activity. “These are very simple, they tend to be made from cardboard and contain a sticky pad to catch the insects, with a pheromone powder to attract them.
“It’s recommended to place these around the store, every six metres or so would be ideal, and certainly in any historic pest activity hot spots. For early identification, these should be checked once a week.”
He explains that if grain store insects do appear in the traps, a decision can then be made on the best options for control.
“Treating the fabric of the store with K-Obiol® will treat adult pests, so early application is key to ensure that the eggs have time to develop and can be targeted when they reach maturity.”
Ken adds that a variety of live grain pests will be on display at the Bayer stand (557) throughout the Cereals event, to help visitors gain an understanding of what to look out for in case of an infestation.
On top of grain store insect management, the team will be on hand to provide advice and guidance on other farm pests such as rodents.