November date for grain store super-package
AFTER a year of extensive testing and last minute modifications to ensure compatibility with the national farm assured cereals scheme, the Integrated Grain Store Manager computer program is to be made commercially available to farmers and grain store managers at Grain 97 this November.
Developed jointly by Imperial College and the Central Science Laboratory, IGSM draws the results of 50 years of research and development together into a single advisory package. The goal is to cut the estimated £50m annual cost of spoilage in stored grain.
Available at a cost of £49.99 (plus £8.75 VAT) to HGCA levy payers, the software programme offers the countrys 50,000 on-farm grain store operators and 500 commercial grain store owners the type of technical know-how previously held by trained specialists, only a few of whom remain, says project leader Dr David Armitage, of the CSL. The updated package offers:
• Latest research information on grain storage and problem solving.
• An encyclopaedia of grain storage advice.
• Easy production of quality assurance statements.
• Automatic checks on sampling data and monitoring of changes in storage conditions.
• Advanced notification of potential problems, with advice on possible solutions.
Store monitoring will highlight changing grain moistures and temperatures and give prompts on necessary corrective measures, such as pesticide use.
However, with health concerns leading to pressure to reduce pesticide use, it is worth considering cooling as a less costly alternative, says Dr Armitage.
Drying to 15% moisture eliminates mites and moulds and cooling to 10C prevents both the saw-toothed grain beetle and the grain weevil from breeding.
Work on the menu system allows easier access to information and data input is now simpler, making the package more user friendly.
r Armitage concludes.