Preparing for Harvest
17 June, 2014
SFGC's Combinable Crops Technical Manager Gary Stoddart gives some valuable advice on how best to prepare your farm for its Farm Assurance inspection.
It’s not surprising that combinable crop farm assurance schemes insist on obtaining detailed evidence that stores and handling equipment are carefully cleaned and checked before harvest. The risks are high when you consider many long-term stores are in use for most of the year. Insect pests, which can cause severe damage in a short period of time, are often a key problem.
Cleaning should include the surfaces of bins, siloes and flat stores, and special attention should be paid to areas such as reception pits, driers, cleaners, conveyors, stanchions, cracks and ledges, so there is no debris left to harbour insect pests.
When cleaning is complete, place insect traps on corners and wall/floor junctions around the store and check them weekly. If insects are found, use additional measures to eliminate them.
Growers with temporary stores which have been used for housing livestock should carefully clean floors and walls with a disinfectant suitable for use on food contact surfaces.
Plans should also be made to make sure all glass fitments are protected to prevent broken glass contaminating crop. Vehicle glass should be included in any inspection.
Thought should also be given to rodent control. Make sure your bait boxes are not damaged and plan an approach for control over the storage period. Record the quantity of bait and where it is placed (plan of bait stations) and inspect regularly.
Check out the campaign for Responsible Rodenticide use at www.thinkwildlife.org.uk for more details.
To find out more about the farm assurance standards SFQC can offer contact us today on 0131 335 6600 or CLICK HERE.