AgMemo - Grains news, December 2017

Page last updated: Thursday, 7 December 2017 - 10:37am

Please note: This content may be out of date and is currently under review.

Minimising insect contamination at a snail's pace 

Svetlana Micic with a white Italian snail in a wheat crop

Research resulting from a Grains flagship program has shown that although there are no options for managing insects pre-harvest, there are ways to minimise their effects after grain has been harvested.

As a part of the Boosting Grains Research and Development program, Research Officer Dr Svetlana Micic and her team researched the best time of day to harvest grain to minimise small pointed (conical) snail contamination.

Remote cameras were used to monitor snail movement along stalks of barley and the rate of movement was scored.

Most snail movement was linked to specific times and showed snails did not move from 11am to 6pm.

Harvesting during the day will lead to less snails being found in harvested grain.

Time of harvest can affect numbers of vagrant insects (insects incidentally harvested with the grain).

For direct harvested crops, harvesting during the hottest part of the day can lead to a reduction in the numbers of European earwigs, snails and beetles being incidentally harvested.

These insects tend to move at night and higher numbers can be found in grain harvested during the night than day.

If harvesting swaths, consider harvesting as soon as practicable.

The longer a swath is on the ground, the more vagrant insects tend to be found and incidentally harvested.

Swath height should also be considered as swaths that are close to or on the ground tend to have more vagrant insects in the grain.

For more information contact Dr Svetlana Micic, Research Officer, Albany  +61 (0)8 9892 8591.