3150: An integrated approach to manage pests and resistance to phosphine in stored grain (Phase 2)

Project Number


Project Type & Status


Project Leader


Dr Pat Collins
Dr Greg Daglish
Dr Ramandeep Kaur
Dr Andrew Ridley
Philip Burrill
Lawrence Smith
Robin Reid
Greg Hopkins
Grain and silos

Impact Delivery Themes

3150: An integrated approach to manage pests and resistance to phosphine in stored grain (Phase 2)

This project has delivered new findings that provide benefits to both grain industry end-users and the stored product research community.  

These benefits are as follows:

1. Sulfuryl fluoride (SF) is available to industry now as an important disinfectant alongside phosphine, which will significantly reduce the ongoing selection pressure on phosphine and will play a critical role in the resistance management program. It is a significant development in fumigant research in view of the fact that historically SF was used exclusively in flour mills; our research has extended the use of this fumigant to the grain bulk handling and farm sectors.

2. Our research addressed two critical short-comings attached to SF: concern of fluoride residue on fumigated grain and its impact on green-house emissions.  The protocols developed through the current project require far less SF compared to the current recommendations of Fumiguide to manage pests.

3. A full package of fumigation protocols developed for SF will give independence to end-users who are currently restricted to using his unique fumigant through Fumiguide.

4. New phosphine protocols are in place for managing the strongly resistant rusty grain beetle, which will enable end-users to market ‘insect-free’ grain, and supporting our commitment to the ‘nil-tolerance’ policy for trade.

5. Information on ‘time to reinfestation’ after a successful fumigation has been developed as a key concept for the Australian grain industry, which would be used a decision-making tool in pest and resistance management strategies.

Research implications: 

1. The delivery of new pest management tools involving SF and phosphine will ensure that key end-users within the grain industry, including growers and bulk handling companies, manage established and emerging pests and resistance in a cost-effective way. We expect a much broader impact on industry through adoption of 'ready to use' protocols for phosphine and SF within 5 years.

2. Resistance management will ensure that fumigants are used correctly and minimally, which will reduce environmental impacts and enhance safety considerations for workers. We expect this impact to be ongoing.

3. The project outputs will help growers and bulk handling companies maintain their profitability by meeting market requirements (trading ‘insect-free’ grain adhering to the ‘nil-tolerance’ policy). This will help to sustain regional and rural economies. We expect this impact to be ongoing. 



Partners in this Project