Prevent insect infestations when storing grain

WINNIPEG, Sept. 18, 2014 /CNW/ - Large amounts of last year's grain are still in storage and this year's grain is beginning to be delivered into the handling system. How you can protect all of your grain from spoiling or becoming infested?

The Canadian Grain Commission has tips to help you manage the quality of grain already in storage. We also have steps you can take before you start filling your bins to keep your stored grain in good condition.

Quick facts

  • To protect the quality of grain currently in storage, the Canadian Grain Commission recommends you:
    • Sample the grain from the core at a depth of 30 to 50 cm (12 to 18 inches) from the surface. Insects are likely to be found in pockets of warm or moist grain. Sieve the samples or examine small portions carefully. Typically, stored product insects are very small beetles (less than 3 mm or 1/8 inch) that may not be moving. A magnifying glass can be helpful.

    • Monitor your grain in storage, if you can. Try to establish the temperature and moisture content of your grain as this will help you make decisions before insect or mould problems begin. For best results, your grain's temperature should be less than 15°C. As well, you should keep your grain at the appropriate moisture content, depending on its type (for example, wheat should be at or lower than14.5% moisture content). Grain temperature and moisture content should be as uniform as possible.

    • If you find insects, identifying them will help you decide what to do. The Canadian Grain Commission has insect identification keys online that can help you. If you cannot identify an insect using these keys, call our Infestation Control and Sanitation Officer.

    • Insects in your grain could be grain feeders, fungal feeders, or predators of these insects. By accurately identifying insects, you can determine the appropriate control method.

    • The Canadian Grain Commission's web site has advice on controlling grain feeding insects. You can also contact our Infestation Control and Sanitation Officer for further assistance.

  • Before harvest, insects may be attracted by grain residue around bins and storage areas. Before harvest, the Canadian Grain Commission recommends you:
    • Make sure storage areas are clean and free from grain residues that can harbour or attract insects.

    • If required, treat your empty storage bins with a registered contact insecticide such as malathion, pyrethrin or a diatomaceous earth-based product. Make sure you treat floor-wall joints, aeration plenums or floors and access points thoroughly. Note: Do not use malathion in bins intended for canola storage.

Associated links

Canadian Grain Commission

The Canadian Grain Commission is the federal agency responsible for establishing and maintaining Canada's grain quality standards. Its programs result in shipments of grain that consistently meet contract specifications for quality, safety and quantity. The Canadian Grain Commission regulates the grain industry to protect producers' rights and ensure the integrity of grain transactions.

SOURCE: Canadian Grain Commission

For further information:

Brent Elliott
Infestation Control and Sanitation Officer
Canadian Grain Commission


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