Growers need to monitor grain stores closely for signs of insect pests, following mild weather so far this autumn, breeder Nickerson is advising.

“We are already getting people ringing for advice where pests are being spotted – we haven’t normally had any by this time,” says the firm’s Frank Curtis.

Grain weevil and saw-toothed grain beetle are the main pests being reported, but growers should also look out for rust red grain beetle and grain mites, he says.

“Last season we saw rejection levels higher than average,” adds Nickerson’s Joss Vincent.

“Combined with the prolonged warm weather that we are experiencing, and the high pressure of grain store pests carried over, the likelihood of reinfestation is high where storage conditions are less than ideal.”

Grain moisture content should be about 14% for longer-term storage (15% max) and temperature should be kept between 12-13C or ambient if it is lower, advises Mr Curtis.

Where moisture and temperature are above target, growers have the option of using treatments such as Prostore (bifenthrin + malathion), Reldan (chlorpyrifos-methyl) and Actellic (pirimiphos-methyl), he says.

“But only Prostore has two active ingredients, giving a dual mode of action.”

See www.hgca.com for the latest Grain Storage Guide and the HGCA’s Safe Storage Time Calculator.

paul.spackman@rbi.co.uk