Regular grain checks 'needed'
Published 05/01/2010 | 05:00
GRAIN stored on farms must be checked on a weekly basis for any deterioration in quality, Teagasc has warned.
Grain harvested in mid- September is now 14 weeks in storage and should be checked for hot spots, infestation with insects or a build-up of mould, Teagasc feed expert Siobhan Kavanagh has advised.
Grain at 16pc moisture with a storage temperature of less than 15°C will have a safe storage of 30 weeks.
"However, given the mild weather conditions in September and October, it may have been difficult to get the temperature in grain stores down adequately, particularly where there was no drying or ventilation systems present," she said.
Ms Kavanagh advised farmers to check the temperature of the grain, using a temperature probe, and check for any rainwater getting into the shed.
"Check that any fans, pedestals or other ventilation units are operating at the correct rate to match grain moisture and make sure that grain stores are bird- and vermin-proof," said Ms Kavanagh.
"Inspect bait points regularly and avoid contamination with old grain, chemicals, etc during storage."
If the grain is showing signs of heating or deteriorating in quality, there are steps the farmer can take immediately.