Cropping

New app for grain storage management

Liz Wells, October 20, 2016

WITH yield potential high and prices for cereal grains low, growers are expected to store large volumes of grain on-farm after the 2016 harvest.

Early preparation is the key to ensuring successful storage with existing permanent on-farm infrastructure and temporary storage such as bags, bunkers and sheds. Photo: P Botta

Early preparation is the key to ensuring successful storage with existing permanent on-farm infrastructure and temporary storage such as bags, bunkers and sheds. Photo: P Botta

That likely scenario has prompted the issuing of advice to growers around the need for storage systems that are suitable and safe.

The Grains Research and Development Corporation’s Grain Storage Extension Project head, Chris Warrick, says early preparation is the key to ensuring successful storage with existing permanent on-farm infrastructure and temporary storage such as bags, bunkers and sheds.

“Planning ahead for effective storage of grain from this year’s crops is so important,” he said.

“Growers need to consider factors such as cleaning and repair of storage structures, pressure-testing silos before the grain goes in, site preparation for temporary storage, securing protectants which will be in high demand this year, and sound hygiene and safety practices – all of which contribute to minimising losses of grain held in storage.”

To support growers with their on-farm grain storage preparations, the GRDC has released a new Stored Grain app for iPhones and iPads.

It can be downloaded for free from the iTunes store, or via https://grdc.com.au/Resources/Apps.

Mr Warrick said the app offered two main features.

“The first is a series of ‘how to’ guides and videos on silo buying, fumigation, hygiene and structural treatments, aeration cooling and aeration drying, as well as pest identification. Growers and advisers can use the app to send experts photos of pests for assistance with identification.”

The second key feature is a log for storage and monitoring records.

“Growers can record details at the storage site, regardless of mobile reception or data speed,” Mr Warrick said.

“They simply enter the records they wish to keep and the next time they are back in mobile reception range, records can be synchronised between multiple mobile devices and/or exported to a spreadsheet.”

Storage details such as grain type, variety, grade, quantity, paddock/source, date filled, date emptied and who it was sold to can be recorded, making for easy quality assurance tracking.

Each time a storage is monitored, the app allows users to record the date, temperature, moisture content, pests identified, treatment details and any other notes.

“And if growers still need more information, they can use the direct links to ‘ask an expert’ and have their grain storage questions promptly answered,” Mr Warrick said.

Further support for growers is also available from the GRDC’s Stored Grain Information Hub at http://www.storedgrain.com.au.

The GRDC’s Stored Grain National Information Hotline is also available to help growers with all their grain storage investments and practices. By phoning 1800 WEEVIL (1800 933 845) growers will be put in contact with their nearest grain storage specialist.

Meanwhile, GRDC-supported grain storage workshops continue to be held throughout the southern cropping region. The next series of workshops will be at Pinnaroo (SA) on October 24, and Willaura (Victoria) on October 25.

Requests for additional workshops can be directed to Mr Warrick by phoning 1800 933 845 or emailing [email protected].

Source: GRDC

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