GROWERS are being warned that a number of large flat bottom silos do not meet the Australian standards for fumigation.
Grain storage expert Dr Philip Burrill from the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) said that he was extremely concerned.
Flat bottom silos are popular as a cheaper alternative to raised silos. Dr Burrill said that this may be a false economy. If a silo does not meet the Australian standards growers will be unable to achieve effective fumigation.
Dr Burrill said the issue was more apparent now that sprayed control options were lost to growers.
“Nothing other then fumigation gases or controlled atmospheres can be used to control live insect pests in Australia”
Dr Burrill would like growers to be careful at upcoming field days.
“Unfortunately some companies will make claims that silos can be fumigated, however that does not mean that they meet the Australian standard”
“Ask if they can guarantee their silo can meet the Australian sealing standard, if not, then walk away”
“There are basically only two Australian made silo models that meet the standard”
“I have only found one from overseas that does” he said.
Gas-tight sealable storage must meet the Australian Standard AS2628.
Buying silos is a significant and long-term investment according to the Grains Research Development Corporation’s stored grain hub, of which Dr Burrill is a contributor.
When purchasing a silo Dr Burrill advises growers to “ask if they can guarantee their silo can meet the Australian sealing standard, if not, then walk away”.
Another hot button topic for Dr Burrill is imported silos that are not fit for Australian conditions.
“Some imported large bottom silos have fully perforated flooring of aeration. These will be unsuitable two to three years down the track” he said.
“Some imported large bottom silos have fully perforated flooring of aeration. These will be unsuitable two to three years down the track”
Dr Burrill explained that this was due to a build up of grain under the flooring of the silo, which acted as source of weevils.
Whilst suitable for North American climates which have freezing temperatures, the hygiene design does not work in Australia, he said.