Gabriele Stoll
Natural Crop Protection in the Tropics
Letting Information Come to Life
Methods of Storage Protection
Principles of Preventive Storage Protection
Insect damage in stored grains and pulses may amount up to 10–40% in countries where modern storage technologies have not been introduced. The most important factors determining storage losses are:
• Variety and quality of stored produce (relative humidity of grains, degree of maturation)
• Type of store, maintenance and duration
• Climatic factors depending on site and season
• Infestation occurring already in the field
• Spectrum of insects (pest, beneficial, population dynamics)
Protecting stored products already starts before actual storage. Just like in IPM for field crops, the protection of stored products should be approached in an integrated manner. And just like in field IPM, the key to successful protection of stored products is knowledge, diversity of measures and informed decision-making.

Knowledge and intelligent solutions are needed on the insects, both pests and beneficials, and their life cycles. This knowledge should not be limited to the storage system itself but should also include the field level. Often the infestation with storage pests already begins in the field. Furthermore, continuous and active learning and experimenting is important – and increasingly so. Small farmers have to improve their cost-benefit ratio and they want to reduce labour requirements and hard work. Knowledge and intelligent solutions are increasingly important components in the overall management of their work.

Using a diverse array of preventive measures can already create an unfavourable environment for an insect pest to build up its population. Thus, protection against storage pests cannot rest on curative measures alone. It is important to know which of the different agricultural practices play which kind of role in preventive pest control and which ones are key measures in a given situation – both at preventive and curative level.

In order to make competent, informed decisions, farmers must be able to judge the potential and the risk of the measures applied. Regular observation of the state of the stored goods helps the farmer to know if these are still safe or if measures have to be taken and which ones. Informed decision-making also means to act on time.

The printed version contains more information about the following themes:

Stages of integrated storage control

1. Field
-Selection of variety
-Harvest time

2. Preparation for storage
-Dividing the produce

3. Storage
-Site selection
-Storage hygiene
-Monitoring & surveillance