NDSU Extension - Williams County


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October 1, 2015

Storing New Grain

With harvest coming to an end, they next thing on a farmers mind is getting it to the elevator. Between harvest and the elevator, your grain sits in bins which can be a very important time for your grain. Drying your gran does have advantages; possibilities of increasing quality of harvested grain by reducing the exposure time of crops to the weather. Reducing harvest losses, including head shattering and cracked kernels. Allows more time for post-harvest field work, with not having to rely on the weather to dry out your grain. Depending on the weather is always a challenge when it comes to farming, drying grain can reduce the chances of crop damage due to wind, rain or even snow.  With advantages, there are always some disadvantages such as the increased cost of purchasing the equipment. Along with more equipment on a farm, there will be an increase cost for fuel, electricity and labor. Sitting down and figuring out what would work best in your farming operation is important when it comes to grain storage.

Another possible problem can arise when storing grain, and that is insect pests. Getting bins ready for grain storage, while minimizing insects is one of the upmost importance for farmers. The first way to help reduce insects is to clean out the bins, getting inside and sweeping out and/or vacuuming the grain bins to remove any leftover seed, plant residue, insect or contaminated debris. Janet Knodel, North Dakota State University entomologist stresses, though difficult, that farmers remove all debris from exhaust and aeration vents before putting new grain into the bin. Insect pest generally, but not always, come in from the field with the crops. Removing any plant material within 10 feet of the bins will lower the chance of insects living on surrounding plant and weeds. Using a herbicide, such as Roundup, will kill current insects and prevent infestation. Knodel suggests that you do an inside bin spray with an insecticide to have some residual insecticide present in case some insects to enter the bin. Using products such as Malathion, Temp, Diacon or a combination of chemicals should be sprayed 2 to 3 weeks before harvesting and filling the bins with new seed.  Preventing the mixture of last year’s grain and new grain is important, but sometimes you do need to put the seed in the same bins. Fumigating the previous year’s crop will lower the chance of the older seed becoming infected if the new seed is. The most important thing to remember when trying to prevent insect pest problems is to store the gran below 55 degrees. Insect activity decreases as the temperature decreases.


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