Prevent insects in stored grain

Prevent insects in stored grain

Producers should take steps now to reduce potential insect infestations in stored grain.

AS the 2013 grain harvest gets under way, it is important for grain producers to take steps now to reduce potential insect infestations in stored grain, according to the Canadian Grain Commission.

"Although this year was not as warm as the preceding summer, there is ample potential for stored grain insects to infest bins as grain comes in from harvest," said Brent Elliott, infestation control and sanitation officer with the Canadian Grain Commission.


Before harvest

Even before harvest begins, insects may be attracted to bins if there is enough debris for them to feed on.

Producers can prepare their empty bins for storage by:

* Ensuring that bins and areas around bins are clean and free of debris;

* Repairing or sealing any cracks or crevices since even small amounts of grain can attract insects;

* Treating bins with a registered insecticide, and

* Cleaning and treating aeration plenums and spaces under bin floors where debris may collect and attract insects.


After harvest

To maintain the overall grain quality and minimize insect pest problems once grain is in storage, producers should dry grain before storing it, if necessary, to bring it to the recommended moisture content (Table).

Producers should also:

* Use aeration to help control the heat and moisture of grain in storage, particularly if grain is stored at a high temperature.

* Bring the grain temperature to below 15 degrees C and its moisture content to the recommended level as quickly as possible.

* Keep the temperature of grain low and uniform, below 15ºC.

* While daytime temperatures remain high, run fans only at night.

* When the air temperature is cooler than the grain, run fans 24 hours a day to cool and dry the grain.

* If using aeration, keep the surface of the grain inside the bin as level as possible to avoid the collection of moisture in the cone.

* Monitor grain routinely to ensure that insects are not becoming a problem.

The Canadian Grain Commission is the federal agency that establishes and maintains Canada's grain quality standards. It regulates the grain industry to protect producers' rights and ensure the integrity of grain transactions.

More information and resources on managing stored grain are available on the Canadian Grain Commission website at


Tough and damp ranges for cereal grains, %




Wheat, all classes


More than 17.0



More than 17.0

Barley, malting


More than 17.0

Barley, food, covered


More than 17.0

Barley, food, hulless


More than 17.0

Barley, general purpose, covered and hulless


More than 17.0

Source: Canadian Grain Commission, "Official Grain Grading Guide."


Volume:85 Issue:38

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