LETHBRIDGE - As early grain deliveries start to pick up, the Alberta Wheat Commission has put out a cautionary warning about the discovery of insect pests.
While it's still early in the season, many producers who haven't previously had a problem with insects in their grain bins are already finding some issues.
Clair Langlois, a Cereal Extension Specialist with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry underscores that the length of time cereal can be safely stored depends on its condition at harvest and the type of storage being used.
Grain that goes into the bin at lower temperatures and moisture content can be kept in storage for a longer period before its quality begins to deteriorate. However, a lot of cereal crops in Alberta, particularly in the south, were stored under warm conditions and have had plenty of time to attract insects to the bins.
Producers are encouraged to check their bins for insects, if they haven't done so yet and continue to check throughout the storage period, no matter what region you reside in. Grain should also be checked before delivery to elevators, as it could be rejected if live insects are found.
While fumigants are a good option to deal with insect infestations, producers are reminded that the purchase and application requires a "Farmer Pesticide Certificate" with a "Stored Grain Endorsement". More information can be found on the Alberta Agriculture website.
The best solution for insect infestation is exposure to cold air desiccation. However, use of this method would require postponement of grain delivery.
Langlois's full report can be viewed at the Alberta Wheat Commission.
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