Tips for Preparing Grain Stores for Harvest

Good grain store hygiene is fundamental to UK growers who want to reduce post-harvest losses.

Up to 10% of grain stored can be lost to mites and insects – a significant figure but one that can be avoided if growers adopt an integrated approach to pest management.

Good ventilation, drying and cooling are all important factors.

Flour mite

Mites – the commenest pest of stored grain

But the basis for retaining quality in stores starts with controlling mites and insects.  In mild winters such as 2016, mites will have bred and populations may be well established already.

Respiring insects and mites will generate heat and moisture and can cause localised hot spots within the grain pile. This further promotes breeding and may encourage the development of moulds.

Preventative action is essential before combines begin to roll.

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.

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 should be used as part of an integrated management approach:

  1. Ensure grain store is emptied of any old grain and debris.
  2. Sweep, or ideally use a high pressure airline, grain store paying close attention to crevices.
    • Don’t neglect roof space, and under the ventilation flooring.
    • Ensure sweepings are disposed of well away from grain store sites, or ideally, burn them.
    • Wear appropriate PPE including a dust mask.
  3. Apply Reldan 22 at 200 ml in 5-10 litres of water per 100 m2 ideally 4 weeks before harvest via a knapsack, motorised knapsack or tractor-operated spray lance.
    • If surfaces are porous increase the water volume to 10 litres per 100 m2
  4. Wear impermeable coveralls, suitable protective gloves, rubber boots and face protection and for best practice ensure good ventilation during application.

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 details on Reldan 22 click here.