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Insect Sweat Can Destroy Grain Yields By Forming Mold

Insect Sweat Can Destroy Grain Yields By Forming Mold

It is always a bummer to hear that people are wasting food. We see it all the time. Restaurants, grocery stores, and sometimes we are even guilty of throwing away food. Farmers are no different as a surprising amount of grain is wasted each day just because bugs were found in the mix. The problem is due to the lack of aeration that grain receives once it is poured into a storage bin. In addition to this, there are several different types of bugs that feed primarily on grain. Once grain is put into a bin for storage, the warm temperatures will cause the insects to perspire. This perspiration follows grain-eating insects everywhere they crawl on hot days. This bug-sweat eventually becomes moldy. As you can understand, this mold reduces the value of grain. Since insect-infested grain becomes moldy frequently, grain is often rejected by inspectors when insects are spotted within bins. Obviously this results in a loss of revenue for farmers.

Insects that feed on crops never cease to cause problems for farmers, even after the agricultural products are uprooted and stored. Luckily, farmers can prevent moldy bug-sweat from destroying crop yields by having their grain aerated. During the late summer or early fall, temperatures are still high enough for insects to remain active. Grain eating insects can also reproduce within grain bins if temperatures are high enough. It goes without saying that more insects means more moldy grain. By aerating grain during warmer temperatures, grain can be cooled to a lower temperature. This will prevent insects from reproducing, and it will most likely kill any insects that are still feeding on grain that is in storage.

The grain located at the center of large storage bins becomes warmer than all other areas. This means that relocating the core regularly is necessary in order to reduce insect perspiration from contaminating grain.  Grain can be aerated cheaply through a “coring” process. The coring process involves mixing grain by shaking the bins over a truck. Once the grain that is located at the core is properly aerated, temperatures are reduced dramatically. The process may be a hassle for agricultural workers, but it keeps moldy insect sweat off of your food.

Do you think that the process of food production should be more focused on preventing insect contamination in different types of crops other than grain?