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Protect the quality of your stored grain from insect infestations and mould
August 30, 2016 – Winnipeg, Manitoba – Canadian Grain Commission
Harvest is underway, and storage bins are filling up fast. Keep these methods in mind to protect the quality of your stored grain from insect infestations and mould.
Keep grain cool. Check your temperature probes every two weeks while grain is in storage. For best results, the temperature of grain should be less than 15°C. Aerating or turning grain helps keep grain cool and dry.
Monitor moisture levels. Keep your grain at the appropriate moisture content to reduce the risk of spoilage. Moisture levels should be checked every two weeks.
Spot and identify insects. When you check grain moisture and temperature, take samples from the core of your grain to monitor for insect populations. If you find insects, determine what type they are to find the best control method.
Watch out for mould. Under warm, moist conditions, moulds can grow quickly and some fungi may produce poisonous mycotoxins, such as ochratoxin A. Mould may not be visible in dark grain bins or may form inside the grain bulk. A musty smell or grain clumping or caking may be signs of mould.
Contact the Canadian Grain Commission's Infestation Control and Sanitation Officer for further assistance.
- Clean away old debris to ensure bins and storage sites are clean and free from grain residues that can harbour insects
- Treat your empty storage bins with a registered contact insecticide such as malathion, pyrethrin or a diatomaceous earth-based product if required
- make sure you treat floor-wall joints, aeration plenums or floors and access points thoroughly
- Do not use malathion in bins intended for canola storage
- Monitor stored grain regularly for hot spots and insect populations:
- insects are likely to be found in pockets of warm or moist grain
- sample the grain from the core at a depth of 30 to 50 centimetres (12 to 18 inches) from the surface
- sieve the samples or examine small portions carefully
- stored product insects are typically very small beetles (less than 3 millimetres or 1/8 inch) that may not be moving so a magnifying glass can be helpful
- Identify insects in your grain to determine the right control method.
- insects in your grain could be grain feeders, fungal feeders, or predators of these insects
- for advice on controlling grain-feeding insects, visit the Canadian Grain Commission's website
- Manage stored grain: Maintain quality and manage insect infestations
- Moisture determination for Canadian grains
- Prevent ochratoxin A in stored grain
Infestation Control and Sanitation Officer
Canadian Grain Commission
Canadian Grain Commission
The Canadian Grain Commission is the federal agency responsible for establishing and maintaining Canada’s grain quality standards. Its programs result in shipments of grain that consistently meet contract specifications for quality, safety and quantity. The Canadian Grain Commission regulates the grain industry to protect producers’ rights and ensure the integrity of grain transactions.
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