CEREAL GROWERS should start thinking about treating grain stores to keep a lid on insect and mite at least five weeks before they are filled, according to new research.

The research, funded by the Home-Grown Cereals Authority, has found Diatomaceous Earths (DE) can be used to control pests in empty grain stores.

The products, a silicaceous fossil-based substance, had previously been found to be effective at killing pests, even pesticide-resistant ones, by dehydration.

But UK-specific recommendations were needed for the alternative to the banned Actellic dust (pirimiphos-methyl), said HGCA director of research Graham Jellis.

“For best results, DE should be applied as a dry dust at 10g/m2 to store structures at least five weeks before the grain is due to be stored,” he said.

“Treatment is less effective at high humidity and low temperatures,” he added.

Full details of the research project are available on Topic Sheet no 79 ‘Insect and mite control in empty grain stores using DE‘.