This event was supported by the Murray Local Land Services through funding from the Australian Government's National Landcare Programme and the Grains Research & Development Corporation.
20-21st March 2017
29 people attended these workshops in the regions of Stony Crossing and Dhuragoon, NSW. These workshops were hosted participants' farms so that presenter, Peter Botta, could demonstrate the effectiveness and use of different grain storage systems and equipment. Peter allowed an interactive format for the day, encouraging participants to drive the content of his talk. Producers were able to discuss their storage experiences and weigh up the pros and cons of each grain storage system. Peter covered topics such as:
Principles of grain storage – insect identification, the ecology of insects, grain hygiene
Pros and cons of different grain storage options such as silos vs grain bags and cost of different systems
Grain storage treatments and their use - chemical options, managing resistance, regulatory requirements and OH&S implications.
Changes in grain storage and future market needs – food safety, pesticide residue free grain, meeting market needs
Chemical and non-chemical treatment options
Aerating grain for cooling and drying
Pressure testing silos
Peter's key point was that “with more than 80% of the Australian grain treated with phosphine gas, the nation’s grains industry is highly reliant on the effectiveness of this fumigant. It is therefore critically important that growers implement best practice when storing grain.” His recommendation for best practice management was to only fumigate in pressure sealed silos and utilise dryacide as a preventative treatment to reduce risk developing of insect resistance to phosphine gas.
Dion Costigan (Link Brokering) also presented on the latest in grain protein and moisture testers. He showcased 2 products which were commercially available to farmers. The first was a grain protein indicator, which can assist in decision making and product consistency by allowing grain of similar characteristics to be stored together, potentially increasing overall commodity value. The second product was a grain moisture indicator to ascertain whether the sample is appropriate for storage conditions. Grain which is too high in moisture can release heat and create a humid environment in a silo, encouraging pest infestation and other grain issues such as mould.