Be clear on grain storage chemicals

USING CHEMICALS to control insect infestations in stored grain can still be justified providing growers follow recommendations, the Home Grown Cereals Authority has advised.

Following changes to the regulations on the use of Actellic dust a couple of years ago, there is still some confusion over what chemical products can and cannot be used, said the HGCA’s Clive Edwards.

“Many farmers believe that it [Actellic dust] cannot be used at all, but there are formulations and applications that can be used in particular situations.”

While grain drying, cooling and store hygiene remain the key ways of minimising the risk from pest infestation, chemical grain treatment may be justified where other methods fail, he said.

The HGCA’s director of research, Graham Jellis agrees, adding that successful pesticide treatment relies on accurate and even application.

“It may take seven or more days to kill insects at 10C or below but cooling grain will extend periods of protection,” he said.

Mr Jellis also urges growers to check with their end-user before using any treatment. For example, some processors do not accept grain treated with diatomaceous earth (DE), he said.

A list of chemicals approved for use in grain stores is available in the latest HGCA topic sheet, number 86, ‘The role of chemicals in integrated grain storage’. It can be downloaded at

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