GRDC GrowNotes Grain Storage

Grain storage grow notes

On-farm grain storage has become a significant component of many Australian cropping operations and growers who manage their storage facilities and operations well are being rewarded through preferred-supplier partnerships with key grain traders. Grain traders and buyers are increasingly pursuing growers who can maintain grain quality through best-practice storage management allowing savvy growers to become ‘price makers’ rather than ‘price takers’.

On-farm storage systems are a significant investment to set up and manage. Any potential return on investment in on-farm storage should be compared to other investment options, such as buying more land or upgrading machinery, to determine the best use of capital. The interesting thing about on-farm storage is the return on investment varies for every grower depending on their scale, crops grown, access to bulk handlers and distance from domestic markets.

In the same way growers ensure they take a strategic approach to managing the production of their crops, a strategic approach to grain storage is also required for optimal end-product performance. It’s no longer acceptable to empty grain into a silo at the back of the shed and forget about it for months on end. Successful on-farm storage starts with a planned, strategic mindset. This enables us to set up a flexible system that will suit our plans across variable years and crops, and enable us to manage quality and avoid disasters.

A key component to storing grain on farm successfully is having the knowledge of best-practice management to avoid costly quality issues and disasters. This manual aims to provide relevant information, links to other resources and contacts to enable a base understanding of how to manage on-farm storage successfully. Through an integrated pest management (IPM) approach and proactive attitude to quality control we can avoid adding to the increasing challenge and scale of phosphine-resistant pests. Ultimately our aim is to save growers and industry a significant amount of money by prolonging the life of the most cost-effective pest disinfectant available — phosphine.

 

Protecting grain and Australia’s reputation

Stored Grain PPE

Australia’s reputation as a supplier of high quality, clean grain can quickly be destroyed if unregistered or off label chemicals are used in grain or grain storages.

Products used for structural treatments must be registered for that purpose and accepted by the intended grain buyer.

Do not use any product on grain or grain storage which is not registered for that purpose and always follow label directions and rates.

The risk is greater than having a load of grain rejected, chemical misuse could lead to the demise of Australia’s reputation causing key buyers to stop importing grain from Australia.

Grain hygiene and structural treatments are the first line of defence against insect pests but product choice is critical.

Diatamaceous earth (DE) products such as Dryacide® are a non-chemical option which control all common grain storage insect pests.

Because DE products have a physical effect on the insects rather than a chemical effect there is no known resistance issues.

Caution should still be taken before using any treatment on grain or grain storage’s to ensure they are registered for that purpose and accepted by the market or grain buyer.