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Storage protocols can protect profits

Producers can keep their grain crops in good condition this fall by following tips from the Canadian Grain Commission about preventing insect infestations during storage. To help producers identify and control potential infestations, the Canadian Grain Commission’s web site features updated information about many species of insect pests. Videos show the insects in action.

The Canadian Grain Commission’s stored products entomologist, Blaine Timlick, says that this year, cooler temperatures have created conditions resulting in no unusual causes for concern. However, he cautions that while outdoor temperatures are low, several conditions can still make it favourable for infestations after grain is in storage.

These conditions include increased changes in grain temperature and moisture. To maintain grain quality and minimize insect pest problems, keep grain temperatures below 20C and moisture content uniformly below 14.5 per cent. Also, ensure that any grain that was harvested with excessive moisture content and put through dryers are cooled to a uniform temperature appropriately.

As always, Prairie producers should look for infestations of rusty grain beetle. This beetle is considered to be the most troublesome insect pest in grain storage on the Prairies.

The rusty grain beetle is a common pest in farm granaries and storage elevators in Canada. During an infestation, the adults and larvae feed on the germ and endosperm of grain kernels. In a heavy infestation, the insects can cause more damage by raising the temperature in the grain which leads to spoilage and the spread of fungal spores in the grain.

This fall, the Canadian Grain Commission reminds wheat producers about the importance of keeping different wheat classes intact. On August 1, the new declaration system took effect. Producers will now sign a form entitled Declaration of Eligibility for the Class. Producers should follow these steps to ensure that different classes of wheat are not mixed.

Put only one class of wheat in each bin.

Maintain careful records to keep track of the wheat in each bin.

If you are not sure about the wheat class in a bin, have the wheat tested at a private lab before you sell it.

If someone is hauling grain for you, provide clear instructions to the transporter about which bins to load from.

Be present at the time of loading to direct the person hauling your grain.

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