Pest threat for grain farm­ers

Central Queensland News - - RURAL WEEKLY -

GRAIN grow­ers are be­ing urged to man­age in­sect pests and snails with the on­set of warmer spring weather.

Agri­cul­ture Vic­to­ria grains biose­cu­rity of­fi­cer Jim Moran said with har­vest fast ap­proach­ing, grow­ers should start prepa­ra­tions for in­sect-free han­dling and stor­age of grain.

“Avoid­ing new in­fes­ta­tions and ef­fec­tively con­trol­ling any cur­rent in­sect pop­u­la­tions takes time, money and re­sources, but en­sures that re­turns are max­imised,” Mr Moran said.

“To pre­vent store grain in­sect pests from be­com­ing a prob­lem, hy­giene strate­gies should be put in place now.

“This in­cludes closely mon­i­tor­ing grain stor­ages by siev­ing grain and in­stalling in­sect traps now as tem­per­a­tures in­side stor­ages rise and in­sect ac­tiv­ity in­creases.”

The Grain Re­search and De­vel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion is also en­cour­ag­ing grain grow­ers in Western Aus­tralia’s south­ern high rain­fall ar­eas to em­ploy a range of har­vest prac­tices to help re­duce the risk of snails con­tam­i­nat­ing grain this sea­son.

Not only can snails pose a threat to grain meet­ing qual­ity stan­dards, they can clog up ma­chin­ery and cause losses in sub­se­quent crops if not suf­fi­ciently con­trolled.

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