Once the crop is in the bin grain insects can chew away at quality and volume. Grant McLean, cropping management specialist with Saskatchewan’s Ministry of Agriculture, offers these six pre-and post-crop storage handling tips to keep insects out.
1) Keep bins clean. As crummy as this job can be, it’s important to sweep or vacuum bin walls and floors. Insects (and moulds and bacteria) feed off of crop dust and debris.
2) After moving grain, clean off all crop-handling equipment. This includes augers, yes, but also trucks, combines and grain carts. Debris from both bins and equipment should be collected and burned or buried.
3) Keep aeration and fan orifices covered to reduce access to bins. Repair any leaks or holes of the bin or around fans promptly.
4) Keep grass and weeds mowed around bins. This reduces available habitat for insects while they wait for the grain.
5) Before you use an insecticide for control, be sure that the bin will not be used for canola or flax. Oilseeds can absorb some insecticide and this can lead to residue problems down the line.
6) Cool grain as soon as possible after harvest to reduce the chance of infestations.