GRAIN STORAGE problems are continuing to rise as many crops still have not been dried sufficiently, according to experts.

The incidence of mouldy and pest infested grain is on the rise, making the need for regular monitoring critical, said Simon Schaanning from Grainfarmers.

“Unless more care is taken, the number of rejections will increase.”

Similar concerns were shared by Banks Cargill‘s Richard Whitlock, who believes problems with late harvest and delayed drilling may have distracted some from adequately monitoring stores.

“Most problems should still be rectified, but we are seeing some parcels [of grain] where it is already too late and the crop has deteriorated too far,” he said.

Growers should aim to cool grain and oilseed to 5°C by the end of December, said Mr Schaanning.

Most crops should now be below 12°C to prevent insect proliferation, he said. Raking the surface could also help reduce capping and control any mites on the surface.

But recent damp, mild and gloomy conditions meant it was very difficult for growers with air only ventilation to reduce temperature and humidity sufficiently, added Mr Whitlock.

He urged growers to ensure they are using blowers on cold, clear days, when temperature and humidity can be reduced more effectively.

Growers should follow the guidelines set out in the Home-Grown Cereals Authority‘s good grain storage guide, he said.

“With all this information available and easily accessible, we shouldn‘t be having these problems,” he said.

The guide can be found at www.hgca.com, click on Crop Research.