Preparing Grain Stores for Harvest

With farm economics under pressure, growers cannot afford to risk post-harvest losses due to poor grain store hygiene.

Mite and insect infestation in UK stored grain causes annual losses of 5-10%.

Pests, in particular mites, can still breed at low temperatures of 5°C.  The mild winter will have allowed egg- laying and populations may have already become established; these can build rapidly so it is important to take preventative action.

Mite and insect feeding results in direct losses but can also have a detrimental effect on the quality of stored grain. Whether intended for milling, malting or feed, infested grain runs the risk of being rejected.

Flour mite

Mites – the commonest pest of stored grain

Good ventilation, drying and cooling are important processes in grain store management. Respiring insects and mites will generate heat and moisture and can cause localised hot spots within the grain pile which further promote breeding and may encourage the development of moulds.

Reldan™ 22 is a broad spectrum acaricide and insecticide that will control all major pests of stored grain including Flour, Cosmopolitan and Copra Mites, the three main mite species found in UK grain stores. Reldan 22 is the only pre-harvest grain store treatment effective on these common pests.

Ideally fabric applications of Reldan 22 should be applied 4 weeks prior to grain filling to allow sufficient time for pests harboured in cracks and crevices to emerge and come into contact with the chemical.

Reldan works by fumigation, contact and ingestion and can offer protection for up to 6 months against mite and insect infestation. There is no withholding period for grain subsequently stored on those premises.

Pre-Harvest Action Plan:
Grain store fabric treatment using Reldan 22 should be used as part of an integrated management approach:

  1. Ensure grain store is emptied of any old grain and debris
    o Apply the same principles to grain handling equipment
  2. Sweep or ideally use a high pressure airline grain store paying close attention to crevices
    o Don’t neglect roof space including rafters and joists, and under the ventilation flooring. Dust provides a breeding site for mites and insects
    o Ensure sweepings are disposed of well away from grain store sites or ideally, burn them
    o Wear appropriate PPE including a dust mask
  3. Apply Reldan 22 at 200ml in 5-10 Litres of water per 100 m2 ideally 4 weeks before harvest via a knapsack, motorised knapsack or tractor-operated spray lance
    o If surfaces are porous increase the water volume to 10 litres per 100m2
  4. Wear impermeable coveralls, suitable protective gloves, rubber boots and face protection and for best practice ensure good ventilation during application
  5. Post treatment and through-out grain storage check grain store regularly for insect activity using sticky and pitfall traps

Can I apply Reldan 22 to stores intended for oilseed rape?
Yes. If the store is metal bins allow 4 weeks minimum before loading with oilseed rape. If concrete, this can be reduced to 1 day but do remember ideally you want 4 weeks between treatment and filling, to allow treatment to work.

For more detailed support literature on Reldan 22, click on this link.

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