Cleaning grain from around storages and equipment is only half the job when undertaking grain storage hygiene. Disposing of the grain properly so it doesn’t become a breeding ground for pests is paramount.
Traveling around the country, the grain storage extension team see various levels of grain storage hygiene. Many growers go to the effort of cleaning up spills and empty hoppers but then leave the half-bag of grain in the shed or under a silo. Others will go to the effort to clean up meticulously and even pile up what’s left after a bunker or bags have been emptied, but leave that pile of grain near the grain storage area.
Waste grain is the best breeding ground for storage pests, which can easily reinfest grain if left in a pile or a bag near the storage site.
Options to dispose of waste grain include:
- Spreading out thinly (under 20mm) over bare ground. Suitable for small amounts of grain, this allows it to germinate or get eaten and is not an attractive harbour for storage pests.
- Burying underground so the soil cover discorages storage pests from getting in and out to harbour.
- Burn the grain to remove it completely.
Research has shown that storage pests travel several kilometres with the wind so even dumping waste grain in a pile well away from the storage site can create a breeding ground for pests to survive and return to reinfest the storage.