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Answering Gnawing Questions Concerning Pest Control In Grain Bin Storage

Most farmers spend more time being concerned with losing crops before they are fully grown and ready to harvest, but pests in grain storage bins can be just as big of a problem in need of attention. In fact, The Colorado State University Extension reports that the presence of pests after harvest cause just as much crop loss as pests can cause during the growing season. Therefore, it is imperative that you, as an agricultural professional, know how to tackle the issue head on.

Here are a few of the most common questions concerning pest control in grain bin storage:

What are some steps to take to deter pests in grain bins?

There are several practices you can adopt to help deter pests in your grain storage areas. One of the first is to make sure that you follow safe handling and sanitation practices during harvest seasons. Your equipment, such as the storage bins themselves, should be appropriately maintained inside and out. Further, good housekeeping around storage bins will help to prevent pests from being attracted to the area.

Is it true that cold temperatures are an effective way to eliminate pest problems?

Cold air can in fact help to alleviate an issue with some types of pests. Many insects will not breed or reproduce when the temperatures are cold. Therefore, it is imperative that you know how to use air systems in your storage bins to alleviate temperatures inside. Cold air should be funneled inside during the colder temperatures at night and even smaller quantities of grain should be stored to more evenly distribute cold air.

What is integrated pest management?

Integrated pest management, or IPM programs, is a basic plan of action that should be implemented at the start of the storage season and followed throughout the year. This can involve several different methods of grain preservation from pests including:

  • Grain cleaning
  • Grain bin and equipment sanitation
  • Fumigation
  • Temperature management
  • Humidity control

Farmers who utilize an effective integrated pest management plan are much less likely to see great amounts of loss to their harvest. It is a good idea to take some time to learn about the various steps that should be part of your own program.

Grain loss is a serious issue when you are in the business of agriculture. An infestation can cause a loss of as much as ten percent of total capacity, which can be a devastating blow to your total harvest. Be sure you are taking proper measures to prevent insect and pest issues in your grain storage bins.

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