Canadian Grain Commission
Symbol of the Government of Canada

Protection of farm-stored grains, oilseeds and pulses from insects, mites and moulds

2. Good storage practices

  • Prevent losses from insects, mites and moulds by storing grain, oilseed and pulse crops properly; preventing infestations is easier, safer and less expensive than controlling them.
  • Prepare the bin before storing the new crop: sweep or vacuum the floor and walls; burn or bury sweepings that contain spoiled or infested grain; seal cracks to keep out rain, snow and flying insects; and spray the walls and floors with a recommended contact insecticide.
  • Install an aeration system to reduce grain temperatures and to reduce moisture migration.
  • Dry tough or damp crops soon after harvest because they are more likely to become mouldy or infested with insects and mites than dry (straight-grade) crops; then cool after drying.
  • Examine stored crops every 2 weeks for signs of heating or infestation; check either temperatures or carbon dioxide levels; and check insect activity by using traps, or probe and sift grain samples.
  • Heated or mouldy crops should be dried. If the heated grain cannot be dried immediately, the rate of deterioration can be reduced by cooling the grain by aeration or moving and mixing the spoiling grain with cooler grain.
  • Insect infestations can be controlled or eliminated by cooling the grain by aeration or mixing it with colder grain.
  • Check the headspace of granaries during January to March and remove any snow before it melts.
  • Observe safety precautions when applying insecticides; only persons licenced for fumigation application should apply fumigants.