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Farmers, millers learn insect prevention in grain storage

Workshop tackles proper grain storage, insect prevention.

Grain storage managers from across the South learned the appropriate measures for controlling insect pests in stored grain at a May 10 workshop at the LSU AgCenter Acadia Parish Extension Office.

The day-long session was presented in cooperation with Texas A&M, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Oklahoma State University and Kansas State University. Additional workshops during the week were held in Beaumont, Texas, and Jonesboro, Ark.

Gene Reagan, LSU AgCenter entomologist, said the workshop featured “some of the best scientists in the world in this field.” Because of the many storage facilities and the tremendous export business of grain from Louisiana, Reagan said the LSU AgCenter was an appropriate participant in this four-year, multi-agency project.

In attendance were researchers, growers, millers and grain dryer operators from Louisiana, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Kansas, Arkansas and Texas.

Ted Wilson, Texas A&M entomologist, said some parts of the world experience post-harvest insect losses of as much as 40 percent.

Frank Arthur of the USDA said temperature is a factor for insect development. Once temperatures reach 60 degrees, he said, insects progress more rapidly toward adulthood.

Arthur said the fumigant, methyl bromide, which is effective, is being phased out. He said control can be obtained with pyrethrin-type insecticides and insect growth regulators. The combination of the two materials is about half the price of a fumigant.

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