Maintenance is vital

October 25, 2017

Machinery maintenance will save on down time and improve production quality at harvest time.

Now is the time to perform critical hygiene maintenance on harvesting machinery and grain storage equipment.

‘‘Simple hygiene measures are the best way to protect your freshly harvested grain and your financial return,’’ Grains Research and Development Corporation grains biosecurity officer Jim Moran said.

Make sure harvesting and handling equipment are all clean and free from the remnants of the last harvest.

It can be difficult to get all grain residues out of augers, field bins and headers if they have been sitting for a while, but it’s an important thing to do because the old grain may have a build-up of pests.

Harvesting contractors need to follow hygiene protocols as well.

‘‘If you haven’t used the contractor before, it’s a good idea to inspect their equipment before they enter the production areas of your farm,’’ Mr Moran said.

‘‘When it comes to storage, you need to start with an insect-free environment before the new grain is introduced.’’

Storing grain is a complex operation, and Mr Moran said there were a few critical things to seek advice about and to do now, including:

Clean empty silos, augers, trucks and field bins thoroughly with a broom or a high pressure air or steam hose.

Apply a registered structural treatment into empty silos and handling equipment.

Blow a small amount of diatomaceous earth (DE) dust through the equipment to kill any pests hiding in tiny nooks and crannies.

Remove spilled grain, weeds, soil and other rubbish from around your silos.

Apply a protectant chemical to new grain as it is lifted into storage.

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