As Australia and China join forces to tackle costly post-harvest grain losses, growers are being urged to play their part on-farm.
Last week, a new research partnership was launched by the two countries, with the aim of developing non-chemical pest controls and protecting against biosecurity risks.
Speaking at a workshop in South Australia’s Mallee region recently, consultant Peter Botta told growers their current on-farm practices could be improved to reduce wastage.
“I would say they’re getting better at it, but I still think it’s an area that we really need to see growers pick up the ball,” he said.
“We want to be sure the products we’re using to help manage our grain storage, in terms of protectants and fumigants, that we have them for the long term.
“And that we don’t have insects in grain before going to markets, we don’t have residues from products we use to treat grain.
“We want to keep our reputation as being a quality supplier of grain to a number of world and local markets.”
Mr Botta said while cropping technology had evolved significantly in recent decades, innovation in grain storage had lagged behind.
“Nothing much has changed over the past 20 years, however what needs to change is how growers apply their management to the grain storage,” he said.
“Fumigating an unsealed storage shouldn’t happen, so you’ve got to be sure you’ve got a gas-tight structure when you do the fumigation.
“Aeration has been around for 40 or 50 years. It’s one of the tools we can use in grain storage that really helps us manage quality and insects, but still very much not a system that’s in place at the moment.
“Things like grain hygiene, making sure things are clean, monitoring grain regularly.
“Typically the time growers find insects is when they’re looking at the grain to put into the truck. That’s too late.
“You’ve got to look at it within a timeframe that allows you, if you have a problem, to be able to fix it properly.”
(Source – http://www.blackseagrain.net/novosti/farmers-urged-to-improve-on-farm-grain-storage-to-protect-profits-market-access-1)