There is more on-farm grain storage today than at any other point in history. The days of waiting in long lines during harvest to deliver commodities to large commercial elevators and grain dryers is being replaced by a short trip to grain bins built right on the farm.
With all of the advantages of quick, efficient on-site grain storage come other issues, such as insect infestation of the stored commodity, for which a farmer may not be prepared. Once grain becomes heavily infested, the losses are economically devastating. Here’s how to help prevent this from happening.
For starters, be sure that the storage bin has been thoroughly cleaned. Good sanitation will help prevent infestation of stored grain and may prevent the need for fumigants. The bins should be thoroughly cleaned as soon as the old crop product has been loaded out and taken to market. To properly clean the bin, all old grain and debris should be removed from the structure and disposed of away from the bin site to prevent re-infestation.
Take care to ensure that all equipment interconnected with the bin has been properly de-energized before entering the structure to prevent injuries. Once this is completed, enter the bin and remove all old grain from the side walls, making sure to clean the ledges above the door openings. Once the walls are brushed down, sweep up the old material and remove from the structure. Next, concentrate on the sub floor of the bin and the aeration ducts. Lastly remove any old product from the unloading screw and conveyors. Any grain left in the cracks can increase your chance of infestation by stored-grain pests.
Residual Insecticides And Grain Protectants
After the bin is clean, treat it with a residual insecticide specifically labeled for use in the interior of rough rice storage spaces. Treat the wall surfaces and any cracks and crevices. Follow all label instructions when applying any insecticides. Two insecticides labeled for and commonly used in storage bins that will contain rice include: Tempo SC Ultra (20 percent cyfluthrin) and Storicide II (21.6 percent chlorpyrifos-methyl and 3.7 percent deltamethrin). Apply these products to the interior walls, ceiling, aeration ducts and the exterior of the bins.
The rice producer may also want to consider applying a grain protectant to the rice once it is in storage, which may prevent early infestation of stored grain. These protectants may be applied as a liquid or a dust. The dust or the liquid can be applied to the grain as it is being loaded into the bin or applied to the top of the grain mass once the bin is full. Insecticides labeled for treating rice include the liquid formulation Storicide II (21.6 percent chlorpyrifos-methyl and 3.7 percent deltamethrin) and the dust formulation ProtectIt (90 percent silicon dioxide and 10 percent silica aerogel). Do NOT apply the grain protectant to the rice before high-temperature drying.
Consult Professionals For Fumigation
If the rice does become infested with a stored-grain pest while in the bins, fumigation is the only option of treatment. Fumigants are a highly toxic, restricted-use pesticide that can only be purchased and applied by individuals possessing a specific applicator’s license that must be obtained from the state regulatory agency in each state in which that farmer conducts business. Due to the high toxicity and inhalation hazards that are associated with fumigants, it is highly recommended that a licensed, insured and trained pesticide company that specializes in fumigations be contacted to perform this work.
If you are interested in receiving a free poster of the “Dirty Dozen” (the 12 most common stored-product insect pests), please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
sPerry Nettles is the Delta Region Manager for Food Protection
Services in Bay, Ark. Contact Nettles at (870) 243-0897 or via email.