|Harvest and Postharvest|
|Controlling Pests in Seed Storage|
|Be able to identify and control common storage pests in rice seed storage.|
|Storage pests cause economic losses to stored seed by feeding on, spoiling, or contaminating it. Their action leads to a reduction, and in some cases, a complete loss in the quality of the seed. Therefore, it is important that you can recognize and control storage pests, preventing them from causing any significant damage to the seed. The main storage pests of rice seed are insects, rodents, birds, and pathogens.|
Note! Prevention is better than cure. Using correct drying and storage at the right moisture content and hermetic storage (see lessons 4 and 5 in this module) is the best control for insects and diseases. The need for chemical control during storage may indicate improper drying and storage.
|Rodents||Rodents– these are rats and mice that attack grain during storage. They are pests of economic importance as they feed on and spoil the grains. They also damage materials such as bags and electrical fittings by their gnawing action. The common rodent pests for rice are: Black rat or House rat (Rattus rattus), Norwegian rat or Common rat (Rattus norvegicus), and House mouse (Mus musculus).
The best form of protection against rodents is to use preventive measures:
This is a reduction in the quality of the grain. The most common storage fungi in rice are species of Aspergillus and Penicillium. High temperatures and moisture are conducive to the development of fungi. Storage fungi can be controlled by practicing good storage hygiene and controlling moisture and temperature of the grain and the store to prevent their development. Damaged and cracked grains should be avoided as they serve as ideal places for the lodging of fungal spores. Additionally, fungicides and other seed treatments like dry heat or hot water treatment can be used to control storage fungi.
|Do you have pest problems that cause damage to your seed. Review the lessons on drying and storage and evaluate if you need to improve these practices.|
|Next lesson||The next lesson discuss more about storage management.|