February 11, 2019

Fumigation using aluminum phosphide

by Dick Bigler and Slade Baker, Douglas Products Inc, USA

Maintaining grain quality from grain-infesting insects is a never-ending challenge. To help, Milling & Grain asked two industry professionals from Douglas Products to share their experience using aluminium phosphide fumigant to protect stored grain. Next month, Milling & Grain will publish part two, the use of sulfuryl fluoride fumigant.


Why is fumigation important?
Baker: We all want — and food regulations require — safe and nutritious food. Grain-infesting insects are a leading threat to grain quality. Fumigation is an important and proven means to eliminate target pests in grain and other commodities as well as pest harbourages in the storage facility.

Fumigation is a word I hear mistakenly used to refer to fogging treatments. It’s true that both are used to control pests in a space, but what fogging does is use application equipment to generate insecticide particles into the air as a smoke, fog or mist. With a fogging treatment, insecticide is suspended into the air, but the insecticide only penetrates grain or insect harbourages to a limited degree in the structure and targets adult and immature stages.

Depending upon airflow, equipment used, and applicator skill, the insecticide may not even reach all the intended treatment areas. In contrast, with fumigation the gas molecules will diffuse throughout the enclosed space and penetrate to reach pests in grain and harbourages. Fumigation is lethal to all life stages of target pests when the proper concentration of the gas is held over the necessary exposure time.

Bigler: I would add that fumigation is highly important both as prevention and infestation treatment, now that grain is being stored longer and longer. In some areas, grain is being stored for multiple years. So, over time you might put into storage a certain grade factor, which does not automatically assume it will have that same grade factor when the grain is removed from the structure. Running aeration fans helps stabilise grain, but you also need to monitor for heat, moisture and manage pests.

Read more HERE.

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