Saturday, June 23, 2018

Get to grips with grain pest monitoring at Cereals

June 6, 2018 by  
Filed under Crops

Grain store operators are reminded not to overlook the importance of good grain store preparation and hygiene as harvest approaches.

Key steps to prevent damage include controlling the main culprits that target stored crops – including the grain weevil and saw-toothed grain beetle, says Bayer rural hygiene manager Ken Black, who be giving visitors advice at this month’s Cereals event.

“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 – which can sometimes be forgotten – is insect monitoring.”

A straightforward process, adequate monitoring can help prevent grain rejections that could lead to substantial losses. The Bayer team will be available for advice throughout the two-day Cereals event, held on 13-14 June at Chrishall Grange, near Duxford, Cambridgeshire.

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.

Highlighting activity

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.”

If grain store insects do appear in the traps, a decision can then be made on the best option 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.”

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. The team will also provide advice and guidance on other farm pests such as rodents.

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