PhD: Non-chemical methods for stored grain

Project Number

63060

Project Type & Status

Student-Active

Project Leader

Impact Delivery Themes

PhD: Non-chemical methods for stored grain

Full title: Understanding the mechanisms of dust-induced insect death and biological effect

What is the biosecurity problem this project aims to resolve/improve?

The key biosecurity problem this PhD is trying to address is the threat to the usage of phosphine, which is an essential fumigant for the grains industry. Phosphine chemistries are coming under increasing threat from a combination of factors. Replacement fumigants are not likely to be available due to development costs relating to toxicity, residues, the environment and work safety issues. Furthermore, key gaps in fumigation are likely to persist as ‘gas tight’ sealed storage structures only account for about 30% of current storage facilities. Another critical challenge has been the de-regulation in 2008 of the Australian export grain market, which has placed increasing pressure on the management of grain during transport. This will be exacerbated as farmers store larger volumes of grain on-farm.

Project Summary

This project will develop new non-chemical technologies including novel formulations of products derived from diatomaceous earth (DE) and/or amorphous silica (AS) and application methods that provide a non-chemical alternative for the control of insects in both storage structures (sealed and unsealed silo and bunker) and transportation (truck and shipping container).

Yanyu's research will be conducted both in the lab and out in the field (growers and bulk handlers) and also involve international collaboration with Kansas State University and China's Academy of State Administration of Grain (ASAG). This project will not only tackle specific issues in fumigant resistance but also expand on farm grain storage, chemical free grain and application methods.

Impact

The project will provide the following impacts of benefit to the grain industry:

  • Understanding behaviours and characters of stored grains and insects, chemical and physical control methods and industry requirements

  • This project will be delivered to industry as novel technologies that provide a non-chemical alternative for the control of insects in both storage structures (sealed and unsealed silo and bunker) and transportation (truck and shipping container)

PhD Supervisors

  • Professor YongLin Ren (Murdoch University)

  • Associate Professor Robert Trengrove (Murdoch University)

  • Dr Yang Cao (Academy of State Administration of Grain - China)

  • Dr Kirsty Bayliss (Murdoch University)

Partners in this Project