Grain storage and sampling

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Key tools and publications

Read our guide to grain store management

The AHDB Grain storage guide is a one-stop-shop for good grain storage practice. It helps storekeepers identify and manage food-borne safety risks associated with insects, mites, fungi and mycotoxins.

Learn how to sample grain effectively

To get the best returns, growers must know what they have to sell so it is important to take grain samples. This information helps with decision making and avoid rejections and disputes.

Be aware of ergot and erucic acid

Although ergot can reduce the yields of crops, more serious problems occur when grain contaminated with ergot is eaten – either in its natural state (animals grazing) or after processing (baked cereal products or animal feed).

The publication has details of legislative and contractual levels, symptoms and life cycle, risk factors, as well as prevention and control measures.

A unique collaboration between UK stakeholders has resulted in the production of erucic acid management guidelines for growers of oilseed rape (OSR). It follows reports by crushers of higher than expected levels of the ‘anti-nutritional’ compound in double-low OSR over the last three years. Centred on five ‘risk points’, the guidelines highlight key actions a farmer can take to minimise the risk of rapeseed exceeding legal or contractual limits.

Control grain storage pests

The principal causes of spoilage in stored grain are fungi, insects and mites. It is important that pests are correctly identified, monitored and controlled appropriately.

Manage grain drying and cooling

Temperature and moisture management can be used to limit unfavourable growth of fungal, insect and mite populations. AHDB tools and publications help growers keep on top of drying and cooling to protect the quality and safety of grain in-store.

CIPC residues in grain stores

CIPC (Chlorpropham) is a sprout suppressant authorised for use on potatoes.  However, CIPC residues have been detected in stored grain where buildings have previously been used for potato storage, leading to rejections.

It is critical to understand the history of the grain store, and:

> If there is a history of CIPC use, do not store non-potato commodities.

> If there is any uncertainty, sample and test the fabric of the building for the presence of CIPC residues (see Red Tractor Assurance website, for guidance).

> If CIPC residues are detected, do not store non-potato commodities

The Potato Industry CIPC Stewardship Scheme offers further information:

potato.org.uk/cipc
0800 0282111

Related Publications