Ground Cover Supplement : GC Supplement - Grain storage
GROUND COVER GRAIN STORAGE 6 MAINTAINING GRAIN HYGIENE Figure 1 Australian phosphine resistance situation -- resistance detections in the past five years Sampling locations Weak resistance detections Strong resistance detections THE IMPORTANCE OF INSECT-FREE STORED GRAIN A collaborative approach is being taken to maintain Australia's high grain-hygiene standards By Pat Collins AUSTRALIA EXPORTS ABOUT 60 per cent of its grain production annually into the highly competitive international marketplace. To ensure continued market access we provide the highest quality product, including freedom from insect infestation. Freedom from insect infestation is so important that all grain shipments are inspected before they leave port to ensure they meet the 'nil tolerance' standard. This same standard is also now demanded by most domestic markets. Australian growers are at a major disadvantage compared with our overseas competitors such as Canada or the European Union because while their grain goes into storage in cooler weather, we harvest at the beginning of summer and store grain over the hottest period of the year. This results in conditions ideal for insect population growth, producing a very high insect pest pressure. Our industry uses non-chemical methods to reduce insect pest populations, but currently these alone do not provide the standard of freedom required by both international and domestic markets. Since the mid-1990s, phosphine use has become central to successful insect management in the grains industry -- it is cheap, can be used on most commodities, results in low or no residue, is environmentally benign and is accepted by international markets. This almost complete reliance on the use of phosphine places us in a very risky position. There is no practical replacement for phosphine; no other fumigant or contact insecticide can match its combined attributes. However, the continued effectiveness of phosphine is now threatened by the development of resistance in insect pests. This places in jeopardy continued access to premium markets for Australian grain. Although high levels of resistance were first detected in 1997, its frequency has increased and very strong levels of resistance are now appearing in some species. The threat of resistance is real, it is serious and it is urgent. In response to this threat, the GRDC has, either directly or as part of its role in the Cooperative Research Centre for National Plant Biosecurity (CRCNPB), invested in a range of research and extension projects. These projects are aimed at managing resistance today and also looking to the long term, providing the knowledge we need to effectively manage resistance into the future. Further information can be found on the CRCNPB website (www.crcplantbiosecurity.com.au). □ GRDC Research Code NPB00004 More information: Dr Pat Collins, program leader Post-Harvest Integrity Research, CRC for National Plant Biosecurity, 07 3896 9433, email@example.com; www.grdc.com.au/NPB00004 THE THREAT OF RESISTANCE IS REAL, IT IS SERIOUS AND IT IS URGENT.
GC Supplement - Biosecurity
GC Supplement - Climate