GROWERS NEED to monitor grain stores closely for signs of insect pests, following mild weather so far this autumn, Nickerson has advised.

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

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

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

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

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

Where moisture and temperature is above target, growers have the option of using treatments such as Prostore (bifenthrin + malathion), Reldan (chlorpyrifos-methyl) and Actellic (pirimiphos-methyl), he said. “But only Prostore has two active ingredients, giving a dual mode of action,” he noted.

See www.hgca.com for the latest Grain Storage Guide and the Home Grown Cereals Authority’s ‘Safe storage time calculator’.