Developments in pest control

by Teresa Acklin
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Products and techniques help detect and eliminate insects in stored grain.

   Grain and grain products are highly susceptible to attack from insects, and an infestation can create serious economic consequences for handlers and processors.

   Even though the war between humans and pests is ongoing, grain handlers and processors do have some effective weapons at their disposal.

      Fumigation system

   Midland Fumigant Co., Inc., Leavenworth, Kansas, U.S. has developed T.A.R.S., or Total Air Recirculation System. T.A.R.S. is the only non-electrical, explosion-proof and waterproof recirculation system on the market.

   The system has successfully fumigated shiploads of grain bound for destinations all over the world, including China, Russia and Colombia. T.A.R.S. also can be used for inland storage facilities, whether metal bins, concrete silos or flat storage. T.A.R.S. has fumigated storage facilities ranging from 500 to 70,000 tonnes of capacity successfully.

   The T.A.R.S. units use pneumatic motors that can be operated at very low p.s.i. levels to distribute fumigants evenly throughout the grain. The units also can be run at high pressure rates to aid in the degassing of shipholds, bins, flat storages or barges after completion of the fumigation period.

   The units are easily installed for either temporary or permanent use, are lightweight for portability and are made of chemical resistant resins.

      Fumigant preparation

   Research Products Co., Salina, Kansas, U.S., in the spring and early summer of 1992 re-introduced the Weevil-Cide name. The company believes Weevil-Cide represents the most dependable aluminum phosphide fumigant preparation available to grain handlers and food processors.

   Weevil-Cide pellets and Weevil-Cide tablets have been tailor-made with the cooperation of United Phosphorus Ltd., Bombay, India, to meet the precise process specifications of Research Products Co., including an on-stream statistical process control monitoring program.

   Since 1946, Research Products Co. has specialized in supplying goods and services tailored to the needs of cereal grain millers, grain handlers, exporters, food processors and others involved with the protection of raw agricultural commodities from insect attack and destruction. Since 1972, the company has been instrumental in the development of application techinques that maximize the effectiveness of hydrogen phosphide (phosphine) gas.

   United Phosphorus Ltd. is a world leader in the manufacture of basic phosphorus compounds, phosphorus intermediates and metal phosphides, including aluminum phosphide, the active ingredient in Weevil-Cide tablets and pellets.

   Both United Phosphorus and Research Products Co. understand that quality is the key to dependability and have implemented jointly the concept of statustical process control for the production of Weevil-Cide. The computerized process statistically analyzes data generated on-stream from the critical process points and alerts both the production and the quality control staff of deviation trends from acceptable norms.

      Pest detector

   Samplex Ltd., North Walsham, Norfolk, U.K., offers the Insectomat, developed with the assistance of the U.K.'s Home Grown Cereals Authority and consultant Robin Wilkin.

   The Insectomat outperforms sieving methods, which cannot detect insects at low population densities and often cannot estimate infestation levels accurately.

   The Insectomat detects insects at a density of as low as 0.1 insects per kilogram in 108 seconds, while sieving detects pests at only two to five insects per kg. In trials conducted by Dr. Wilkin, the Insectomat consistently recovered 100% of the two most important grain pest species.

   The Insectomat enables infested grain to be detected before it enters storage, avoiding contamination of clean grain and reducing the use of pesticides or fumigants.