Grain Storage Extension
- Researcher's Name:
- Mr Phillip Burrill
- Agri-Science Queensland, Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation
- 07 4660 3620
- 07 4660 3600
- Project Code:
- Contract Start:
- Contract End:
Grain growers are first in the value chain and thus have a pivotal role when it comes to determining the quality of grain offered to Australia's export and domestic markets. Making well informed on-farm decisions in areas such as early harvest, selection of storage type, insect pest control, hygiene, grain moisture management, cooling aeration and fumigation practices, will have a significant impact on the market value of a parcel of grain. The consistency of grain quality offered to buyers each year by an individual grower has direct consequences for short and long term profitability.
Sound agronomic crop production decisions prior to planting and during crop growth adds value (yield and quality potential) to the crop in the paddock. This is also true for post harvest grain management. A well designed and managed grain storage facility provides grain growers with the ability to 'add further value' to harvested grain.
It is common for wheat and other grains to be 'out of specification' for either delivery or acceptance into higher value grades. On farm storage offers the flexibility to hold grain for blending, drying or grading post harvest. Grain that may have been sold at feed grain prices during harvest due to extra screenings (small grains) or other faults can now be blended. Higher value grades are commonly $20 - $40 / tonne above feed grades.
Storage also provides the option for growers to harvest their crop early at higher grain moisture. This reduces the risks of storm weather damage which can reduce both yields and grain quality.
Further reasons for considering an investment in on-farm storage facilities may be, to exploit new marketing opportunities. time grain sales for price improvements, spread income over financial years, or simply the ability to offer a grain buyer / end-user a monthly grain supply program direct off farm.
Although many grain growers still elect to warehouse a proportion of their harvest at bulk handling facilities (e.g. Graincorp), many throughout all GRDC regions are now expanding their on-farm storage capacity. Along with the above reasons mentioned, growers are also aiming to take account of bulk handler's logistical changes with reduced depot delivery locations and minimising bottlenecks to grain movement away from high capacity headers during the critical harvest period.
In the same way that growers require reliable agronomic information to give their crop the potential to produce a good return, it is just as important to access sound information covering on-farm grain storage to produce reliable results and returns.
This project will provide up-to-date technical, scientific, biosecurity and economic information to assist producers with their decisions concerning grain storage. A new series of Advice notes and grain storage research summaries will be available to growers, advisors / consultants and industry in both web based and hard copy formats. The project will draw on the skills of the Kondinin group and a number of experienced grains research & extension officers to produce these resources.
Significant emphasis will also be directed at ensuring vital two-way information exchange, with face to face delivery and interaction at grower field days, on-farm demonstration, GRDC Updates, and industry workshops.
Grain growers are first in the value chain and thus have a pivotal role when it comes to determining the quality of grain offered to Australia's export and domestic markets. Many growers throughout all GRDC regions are now expanding their on-farm storage capacity.
Sound agronomic crop production decisions prior to planting and during crop growth add value (yield and quality) to the crop in the paddock. This is also true for post-harvest grain management. A well designed and managed grain storage facility provides grain growers with an ability to 'add value' post-harvest. Blending for quality traits like protein or screenings are two examples.
Another key value in on farm storage is improved harvest logistics. Strengthening growers' ability to reliably store on-farm also lifts potential profits by expanding marketing options and by lowering storage & handling charges.
Adoption of integrated pest management (IPM) reduces the dependence on chemical treatments. Improved fumigation practices combined with IPM limits selection pressure for storage pest resistance development.
Grain rejections due to insects or quality problems at domestic or export end-points are a direct profit loss to all sectors of the grains industry. Another target for the project is to reduce insect damage and germination / vigour loss in planting seed. Bulk wheat or barley seed stored in farm silos is stored for longer periods and therefore more exposed to quality losses.
The strategy for the adoption of improved practices in grain storage is to be achieved by working alongside all key stakeholders in the industry. These include the agricultural consultants and advisors who work with growers; the researchers; manufacturers and suppliers of silos and storage equipment; bulk handling companies; chemical retailers; and government regulation bodies and training providers.
With a uniform national message based on research findings and circulated by all sectors, plus a strong focus on grower interaction at workshops and field days, the project team aims to see a steady adoption of improved practices throughout the grain industry.
With the expansion of on-farm storage facilities and grain packing & marketing industries this project aims to see the uptake of research findings and best management practices in grain storage. This will see the maintenance of economic value of grain in storage and reduce costly delays in movement to domestic and export markets.
Chemical treatments are less accepted in today's market place and are also struggling to control storage pests due to the development of resistance.
A clear objective for the national grains extension project is to see the adoption of integrated pest management strategies with practices that reduce grain pest and grain quality losses during storage.
1. Grain storage information resources, communication and media outputs to be used by grain growers, advisors and service industries. Review grain storage resources available nationally. Determine key topics and indentify gaps. Produce two series of information resources: Advice sheet series, and Grain storage Research series.
2. Workshops, field days, demonstrations sites, and grains service industry training delivered in each of the GRDC regions (Northern, Southern & Western). The project will provide grain storage advice and capacity building in regional areas.
3. Extension project team establish linkages between grains research teams and grain growers / industry. Team members participation in key grains storage research / industry meetings ensures they are up-to-date with research outcomes. This also assists in the task of raising grain grower issues in research forums.
“Grain Storage Extension” GRDC project DAQ 00158, 2009 – 2012
Summary June 2011
Core project team: Mr Philip Burrill (DEEDI), Mr Peter Botta (PCB Consulting), Mr Chris Newman (DAFWA) Mr Chris Warrick (Kondinin / Principle Focus)
Project support : Dr Pat Collins (DEEDI), Mr Ben White (Kondinin), Dr Sharyn Taylor & Ms Jo Slattery (PHA), Dr Jo Holloway (NSW DPI), Dr Rob Emery (DAFWA)
This project delivers to grain growers & the industry in three key areas:
• Information Resources : A new series of updated information resources covering Grain Storage topics for both growers and associated service industries. These enabling informed decisions based on research outcomes in areas such as pest control, grain quality management and storage equipment options.
Five new GRDC Fact sheets: "Grain storage pest control guide", "Stored grain pests - identification", "Pressure testing sealable silos", "Hygiene & structural treatments for grain storages", "Aeration cooling for pest control". Including Separate western region editions produced for the first three fact sheets.
A new reference booklet "Fumigation with Phosphine”.
Other publications examples include - A range of articles in Kondinin publications and Rural weekly. Several GRDC Ground Cover articles and supplement contributions over past two years. Six grain storage newsletters. Joint article with Graintec Scientific Australian Grain Journal. Sept Oct 2010. A training module “Safe Storage” for the Australian Sunflower Association. –The Big yellow Sunflower Pack; Soybeans storage training module with Soy Australia; Grain storage BMP” module. Paper published in Proceedings 10th International Work Conference on stored product protection.
Regular media print press items, ABC radio interviews & GRDC Driving Agronomy. CD Sept. 2010. A new web site www.storedgrain.com.au with search facilities is now available for growers, aiding access to these publications
• Workshops for Growers and interaction with Industry : Continued demand from grain growers, advisers and industry for workshops & information on grain storage and pest control has resulted in P. Burrill, P. Botta & C. Newman delivering project total of 143 (Nth 47, Sth 66, West 33) across GRDC’s three regions over two years. In addition Kondinin’s Chris Warrick and Ben White have attended numerous Grains industry field days passing on grain storage best practice information.
Priority continues to be given to grower workshops & field days where the local consultants / advisors / agribusiness are directly involved and contributing to the day. Storage equipment suppliers are also encouraged to set up displays and give presentations.
• Interacting & supporting grain storage research. Foster linkages between researchers, growers & industry.
The Extension team participated in more than 85 industry and research meetings over the past 12 months. A similar number of these industry & research meeting had team input in 2009. Presenting at NWPGP and at various industry forums such as VFF, AgForce and directly contributing and assisting with numerous CRC / GRDC grain storage research projects.
Regular interaction with research staff and direct involvement with grain storage & grain pest research trials is considered valuable to ensure growers and the industry receive the most up-to-date information promptly. This interaction also provides a conduit for vital feed back to research staff on current growers and industry issues.
Please see Word doc. attachments for presentations & research section above and www.storedgrain.com.au for publications.
This booklet explains the benefits of aeration and the key differences between aeration cooling and aeration drying. It is a guide to managing aeration cooling and drying and outlines the process, equipment requirements and potential results.
This booklet explains how using phosphine incorrectly contributes to resistance problems and clarifies how to use it most effectively to achieve reliable results.
With wet weather hampering what is left of the Western Australian harvest, growers are advised to act promptly to deal with high-moisture grain.
Take home messages
• Successful storage requires commitment, careful planning and the right system.
• Grain insect control, end-user requirements and maintaining quality are among the many issues to consider.
• Killing insects is becoming more difficult without gas-tight sealed storage and the use of fumigants.
Grain storage systems come in a range of shapes and sizes to meet farm requirements and careful planning is needed to optimise an on-farm grain storage facility investment.
According to the option selected, on-farm grain storage systems can provide a short-term or long-term storage facility. Depending on the goal of on-farm...
Researchers and farmers have worked together to devise a secure way to fumigate silo bags infested with weevils
The application of commonly recommended management principles has eradicated a strain of grain-storage insects with strong phosphine resistance located on a Western Australian farm.
The application of commonly recommended management principles has eradicated a strain of grain storage insects with strong phosphine resistance, located on a Western Australian farm.
The busy time of harvest can be the most dangerous on a farm, so to help growers Stay safe around grain storage a fact sheet has been released by the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC).
With on-farm storage one of the issues currently top-of-mind for growers harvesting grain crops, a helpful online resource is available to help guide their storage decisions.
Western Australian growers who have experienced wet conditions this harvest have a number of options to deal with high-moisture grain, but the key is to act promptly.
Queensland grain grower John Piper and his family have set up an on-farm storage and handling complex to harvest high-moisture grain and dry it to end-user specifications.
Silo bags provide a low-cost way of managing harvest logistics, but grain storage specialists say their use is best limited to about three months
While strong resistant pests in farm storages maintains a 2 – 4 % detection level over recent years, wide spread detection of strong phosphine resistant strains of Flat grain beetle ( Cryptolestes spp. ) in the central handling system is of serious industry concern. Correct use of phosphine is essential...
Take home messages • Aeration cooling and aeration drying have significant air flow rate differences • Managing aeration cooling and drying is different, fan run times are required at different times of the day and for different intervals • Aeration has four main purposes – preventing mould, inhibiting insect development,...
A specialist in grains storage systems, Peter Botta of PCB Consulting, is urging growers to regularly check stored grain to avoid damage from insects, mould and humidity.
Natural heat from the sun, which causes hot air to rise, is providing new strategies to improve phosphine fumigation and safely eliminate insects from stored grain.
Mindful of last summer’s wet harvest, Queensland grain storage specialist Philip Burrill is urging care when setting up storage and handling systems to lower the moisture content of early harvested grain.
The cold months of winter are the ideal time to clean empty grain silos to eradicate insects harbouring in grain residues, according to grain storage specialist Chris Newman.
Growers storing grain on-farm are reminded to check grain regularly and thoroughly to avoid problems with insects and spoilage.
Australia’s grain storage industry says a trend in recent years towards more unseasonal wet weather at harvest indicates the need to incorporate more grain drying to capture quality
The ability to aerate grain storage offers more than just diversification to an enterprise, says a CSIRO scientist
Phosphine is the single-most relied upon fumigant to control stored grain pests in Australian grain production systems. Despite its extensive use, a Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) survey, carried out during 2010, reveals only 36 per cent of growers using phosphine apply it correctly – in a gas-tight, sealed...
Preserving grain quality through effective on-farm storage will be critical following this year’s rain-affected harvest. Grain storage expert Peter Botta, from PCB Consulting, says with recent rains and flooding impacting on this year’s crop in many parts of the southern region, any further reductions in grain quality will be unwelcome....
A new extension program is helping growers easily access best practice information on grain storage
Grain storage specialists are urging growers to make a concerted effort this harvest to lift hygiene standards to help the industry keep on top of insect infestation
New grain storage fact sheets bring together the practical outcomes developed from recent research