Grain weevilFollowing a very difficult, protracted and wet harvest, growers will need to be proactive in preventing insect pest and mite damage in store. This year more than ever, growers need to make sure that they focus on storage conditions and risks and are prepared to treat with Silico-Sec before pests and mites add to their problems and spoil the grain which they have managed to harvest. With excellent wheat and oilseed rape prices but lower yields and lower quality, the investment in growing and harvesting must be protected in store, as any further loss of quality will erode precious returns, reminds Interfarm UK Ltd.
“Prevention is better than cure, and this is particularly true with high value grains. Storage pests cause direct damage to grain and create conditions in which fungal growth can occur, all of which will adversely affect quality and returns. Grain harvested and then stored with a high moisture content can only exacerbate the problem,” says Dr. David Stormonth, Technical Manager for Interfarm UK Ltd.
“Silico-Sec is an effective preventative treatment to protect harvested grain from infestations. Consisting of highly micronised specific amorphous silica (silicon dioxide), Silico-Sec abrades and damages the cuticles of insects and mites, removing the water-proofing waxes, resulting in desiccation and death of the pests. Because it is a biophysical product, it controls any exo-skeletal pest, including grain weevils, saw-toothed grain beetles, red-rust flour beetles, cosmopolitan food mites and flour mites. Not all grain treatments control mites, but Silico-Sec will control all grain pests and all mites. Importantly the abrading mechanism of action means that there are no resistance or residue issues.”
“As a treatment to stored grain, Silico-Sec is applied to the grain surface, either as a low cost preventative treatment at a rate of 200g/m² or as a localised curative application at the rate of 600g/m², depending on the extent of the problem. It should be applied to the surface of stored grains after the heat and moisture content have been reduced within the HGCA guidelines and then worked into the top 30 cms with a rake,” David advises.
“Most infestations are found in the surface layers of grain piles, as this is where the insect pests can move and access oxygen more easily. Surface layer treatments can be effective in both prevention and cure of pest infestations. But this is only the case if they are used as part of an integrated strategy for grain store management, together with temperature and moisture control.”
“Silico-Sec is a natural, non-toxic alternative to conventional chemical treatments which can be used in both conventional and organic farming systems. This gives it the advantage of no withholding intervals nor any restrictions to certain crop types. It has recently been approved for use under the Organic Farmers and Growers Approved Inputs Scheme,” adds David.
Silico-Sec contains up to 96% micronized inert silicon dioxide as a high specification food grade powder derived from diatomaceous earth by a special process. It can be used on feed wheat, barley and oilseed rape for the control and prevention of invertebrate pests such as mites, weevils and beetles, as part of an integrated storage management strategy. For milling wheat, growers should check with their grain merchant. There are now fewer products for use on oilseed rape and Silico-Sec is an ideal product for this purpose. It has both protectant and curative activity. It is packed in 15-kg bags and is available exclusively from Interfarm distributors.
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