A grain protectant is an insecticide that can be applied directly to the grain. Protectants are generally applied on the grain as it goes into a storage bin. However, depending upon the availability of equipment, protectants may also be applied in layers as each grain load is stored or as a top dressing to prevent penetration of insects from above the mass. In general, the idea is to provide protection throughout the mass of bulk grain.
The treatment offers protection for about one season and should be considered if the grain may be held for more than 6 months. Proper calibration of the application system is important to ensure even insecticide distribution throughout the grain.
Grain protectants are good but not fool proof. In Kentucky we find their usefulness is limited by two major factors; application technique, and grain temperature and moisture . Most problematic are protectants applied to wheat. Because Kentucky grown wheat is harvested in late spring, newly stored wheat must go through the hot humid days of summer before cool fall and winter weather provides a natural slow down to insect activity.
A list of the materials currently registered as grain protectants, can be found at the end of the annual insecticide recommendations for each crop.
Equipment for Applying Protectants
Calibration of Protectant Applications
Calculating Material for Surface "Cap Out" Treatments