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Avoid a costly mite infestation in your grain store this harvest

Pest infestations within grain stores, such as an invasion of mites, can add great stress to the already-hectic harvest period for farmers.

The financial consequences of a mite infestation can be very serious, with up to 10% crop loss. Farmers can ill afford to write off so much profit at a time when grain prices continue to fluctuate.

Mite infestations are so damaging due to their remarkable ability to reproduce. The cosmopolitan food mite (Lepidoglyphus destructor), for example, lives on the grain surface and can multiply four fold in the space of seven days. If infested, a kilogram of stored grain may contain several million mites.

When mites are present, pockets of moisture and heat known as hotspots develop within a grain heap, which can cause mould growth.

To exacerbate the problem, mites and other pests act as a source of bacterial and fungal infections along with allergens. A mite invasion will also lead to issues such as taint, reduced nutritional value and contamination by insect fragments.

In order to cool and dry stored crops while avoiding the use of pesticides, farmers use centrifugal fans such as those manufactured by the team here at Gibbons Agricultural Fans.

Our steel and aluminium fans are rated at 0.13-2.2kW and are available as single phase or three phase in most sizes. While designed for use with pedestal systems, Gibbons’ fans can also be converted for floor-level use with a support stand.

New for 2018 is the upgraded terminal box cover on our fans. Now made of steel rather than plastic, the more robust covers offer greater protection from knocks during movement and storage on farms.

The Gibbons Plug&Dry™ range of crop store fan accessories is a series of add-ons designed to make life easier during the post-harvest period. The range includes push-button starters, high-precision thermostats and heavy-duty extension cables.

We’ve also recently launched our own money-saving grain store fan calculator, an ingenious tool that advises the optimum number of fans required for a given crop store from just a few key pieces of data.

Finally, we deliver essential electrical farm services for new and existing agricultural buildings, including motor rewinds, control panel building, wiring, lighting and door controls.

Find out more by calling the Gibbons Agricultural Fans team on 01621 868 138 or email fans@gibbonsgroup.co.uk.

Agricultural

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