Growers are urged to pay extra attention to grain store management following mild weather and AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds is drawing attention to its range of resources to aid grain store management.
It is reminding growers to check stores for temperature and moisture to help avoid costs of 20/t 30/t for grain consignments failing to hit contracted specification.
Weather since harvest may have compromised grain quality, with some grain cut damp and storage temperatures remaining relatively high, increasing the risk of infestation and Ochratoxin Aproduction for later marketed crops.
AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds has a number of tools and resources available on its website and in hard copy to aid grain storage, sampling and selling decisions at cereals.ahdb.org.uk/grainstorage
Weekly monitoring of moisture content and temperature throughout the life of the store is recommended.
Targets for drying and cooling grain are well established but not always easily achieved in practice,especially in mild weather. The Safe Storage Time Calculator will help to identify grain in most urgent need of attention.
The tool uses information entered on the moisture and temperature levels for stored grain to assess the risks from mould and mycotoxins development, loss of germination and the potential risk for attack by insects and mites.
It reassesses the risk each time farmers and storekeepers input new temperatures and moistures and takes into account the total storage history as the grain is monitored, showing the time in days until the risks become critical.
Ideally, representative samples will have been collected, tested, labelled (with location, variety and tonnage) and recorded per bay / 50 tonnes as the grain enters the main store. These samples allow potential buyers to assess qualities including protein/nitrogen content,specific weight, Hagberg Falling Number and germination, depending on the end-use.
Where prior sampling has not taken place, many potential buyers will want to assess quality in-store. Suchsampling is less likely to be representative of a given bulk than samples takenas the store is loaded. It is also best practice to take and retain samplesfrom each lorry load before it leaves the farm, which may help if disputesarise. For more, refer to the Grain sampling guide.
Record keeping, either electronically or on paper, will illustrate due diligence and enable changes in grain condition to be readily identified. This may provide an early warning of potential problems. In addition, The Cereals Sellers Checklist is intended to help cereal sellers avoid the most common problems associated with cereals sales contracts.