CRC impact: grain industry delivery sites

Project Number


Project Type & Status


Project Leader


Dr Pat Collins
Stored grain silos

Impact Delivery Themes

CRC impact: grain industry delivery sites

Final Report Summary

In 2013 PBCRC invested in the development of “industry impact sites” to bring together CRCNPB / PBCRC grain-based research outcomes under the umbrella of best practice guidelines.

The investment established four sites in grain production zones with a fifth site established at a major grain port facility:

  1. The GrainCorp facility located at Temora, NSW

  2. The Viterra facility located at Bowmans, SA

  3. The CBH facility located at Mingenew as a partnership site with the Mingenew Irwin Group

  4. The port of Kwinana, WA, and

  5. The CBH facility located at Dalby West, Qld as a partnership site with local commercial agronomist networks.

Key objectives of the investment were:

  1. To assist PBCRC to integrate research findings and deliver outcomes as detailed in the Commonwealth funding agreement

  2. To develop and implement best practice for the management of grain storage pests as informed by CRCNPB / PBCRC investments and end-user engagement via on-site demonstration activities, and

  3. To gain knowledge of grain end-user requirements to realise full impact of PBCRC investments.

The objectives of the investment were met, with a unification of key findings of CRCNPB / PBCRC grain-based investments in aeration, phosphine application, insect ecology, phosphine resistance management and alternatives to the fumigant phosphine under the structure of documenting best practice.

Documentation of best practice was undertaken through the National Working Party on Grain Protection (NWPGP) which is the body responsible for providing management and leadership to the grain industry in the areas of post-harvest grain storage and hygiene, chemical use, outturn tolerances, international and domestic market requirements and chemical regulations.

Results from the industry sites and the individual PBCRC investments were presented at the 2015 meeting of the Australian Grain Storage and Protection Conference.

This resulted, through the NWPGP, in a review of the grain industry Phosphine Resistance Management Strategy which had been first developed in 2009 under the term of the CRCNPB. 

PBCRC research results and learning from the impact sites led to a decision to update and amend the Strategy in the following areas:

  1. Changes to application of phosphine due to the development of high levels of resistance to the fumigant in the rusty grain beetle (flat grain beetle), Cryptolestes ferrugineus

  2. Responses to the emerging problem of high levels of resistance to phosphine in the rice weevil, Sitophilus oryzae, where resistance levels have been recorded (CRC3035) that are higher than those for the lesser grain borer, Rhyzopertha dominica, the current industry benchmark for resistance problems

  3. The development of an alternative fumigant to phosphine, sulfuryl fluoride (ProfumeTM), and its integration into the strategy to ensure continued availability to industry

  4. Responses (an examination of current APVMA-approved phosphine labelling) to increasing levels of grain storage on farm, and the increasing frequency of growers to purchase and deploy much larger silos than previously.

Most research and outcomes, inclusive of work undertaken at the impact sites, that underpinned the Strategy have been previously reported in final reports for:

  • Resistance monitoring (CRC3035) for the fumigant phosphine

  • Resistance management strategies, inclusive of both new rates of phosphine application and the fumigant sulfuryl fluoride

  • New approaches to managing resistance using insect ecology knowledge (CRC3039)

  • Nitrogen / low oxygen as an alternative to phosphine (CRC3099)

This report focuses on work and impact-based activities that was additional to the material covered in the above reports and considered key to integration of PBCRC research outcomes and best practice, essentially:

  • Aeration technology for which the underpinning research was undertaken through the CRCNPB in partnership with the GRDC

  • Best practice for a phosphine fumigation undertaken in a gas-tight farm storage

The aeration activities were conducted as a partnership with the Mingenew Irwin Group (MIG) with a focus on demonstrating the benefits of aeration systems as best practice for grain storage pest management. 
Over the three years of the project, aeration fans were fitted to 70 tonne sealed silos at three different locations and measurements were taken fortnightly over the storing period (early December to mid-April).

Results demonstrated that the use of aeration fans on seed silos allow for a better control of temperature inside the silos, enabling pest management by considerably reducing pest populations and their impacts on stored grains. Being a physical control (as opposed to using phosphine), aeration also reduces any potential resistance issue, making it a long-term sustainable solution.

An economic analysis demonstrated a benefit of $1.94/tonne when using aerated silos. This benefit includes the purchase of an aeration fan ($830), its controller ($5,500) and the running costs ($0.24/kW.h).

In partnership with MIG and QDAF, the findings of both activities were extended to industry through a series of workshops and demonstration activities.

Download the full Final Report


Related publications

Partners in this Project