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13 September, 2021

Being on top of grain storage a must

Storage specialists from Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) say now that spring is here, it is important to ensure grain storage facilities are prepared and ready.

GRDC Grain Storage Extension project co-ordinator Chris Warrick is encouraging growers to start maintenance and check on storage facilities to help set up for a successful harvest.

Mr Warrick said growers were increasingly opting for on-farm storage and were focused on improved capacity, understanding what was needed to store grain for longer periods of time and building their knowledge of fumigant and chemical use.

“Managing on-farm grain storage is now an enterprise in itself, requiring planning and preparation to manage successfully,” Mr Warrick said.

“The GRDC Grain Storage team regularly receive calls from growers either looking for guidance on setting up storage, including pest prevention, or looking for help after they’ve discovered a pest or grain quality problem.” 

To reduce the risk of issues during and post-harvest, Mr Warrick is advising growers to make time now to assess and undertake maintenance of grain storage systems.

“Preventing issues is always better than dealing with them,” Mr Warrick said. 

GRDC’s key tips for grain storage include using aeration cooling with the aim of having two to four litres of air per second per tonne of grain storage capacity, as well as using downtime in winter to maintain storages, especially when it comes to hygiene and treatments.

Mr Warrick said learnings from the 2020/21 harvest also indicated that temporary on-farm storage such as poorly prepared bags and bunkers could be vulnerable to mice and water damage. 

Losses associated with damaged or flooded grain in short-term storage meant these were not always the cheaper option and had resulted in more growers investing in permanent storage for this season.

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