A new survey report highlights how grain store operators are struggling to comply with zero tolerance for live insects as a result of only two groups of active ingredients (AIs) for storage insecticides – organophosphates and pyrethroids - still authorised for use.
Published by European grain trade association COCERAL, ‘Applied methods for insect management in stored grain and oilseeds’ covers the 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 crops, describing techniques implemented by European grain and oilseeds traders and collectors to manage insect infestation.
In operator’s own silos, the primary option to manage insect infestation is air circulation (59 per cent of respondents). Fumigation is next (52 per cent), followed by storage insecticides (45 per cent). At port silos storage insecticides are the main option (24 per cent), followed by fumigation (17 per cent) and air circulation (10 per cent). At farm level, the principal option is fumigation (21 per cent), while the alternatives are equally air circulation and storage insecticides (14 per cent each).
According to COCERAL, the report shows that the tool box available for grain storage is not large enough. The trend from 2018 onwards is a major concern for operators as some remaining AIs e.g. cypermethrin are likely to lose their authorisations due to use of hazard-based criteria or to see their MRLs on cereals lowered e.g. chlorpyrifos-methyl.
The report authors are also concerned by the weakening interest in developing new AIs due to legislative pressure and are calling on manufacturers of AIs and plant protection products to focus more research effort on storage insecticides and other solutions in order to obtain effective and less hazardous formulations.