Does hermetic grain storage make sense in Central Europe?
Abstract: In a national research project we intend to determine the efforts needed to render horizontal grain storages hermetic following the Australian example. The effects that this may have on the quality of grain stored for several years will be monitored. Another aspect of the project is a laboratory study on vacuum packaging and the effects of various residual oxygen contents and different grain moisture contents on wheat quality. This is done in order to identify suitable methods for long-term grain storage with a mechanical barrier avoiding pest attack. The long-distance orientation of stored product insects is usually influenced by volatile cues. During the project grain volatiles are determined in and around grain storages to prove the correlation between a gradient of attractive volatiles and attack by flying insects. The long-term grain storages tested may be a model for storages of organic grain that can achieve a higher market price per ton but also for grain storage in general. Since in 2007/2008 the world-market value of grain doubled, an improved grain storage technology may be economically even more advisable than before.