Pest infestation in stored grains causes significant economic losses through damage and contamination of food products. For this reason, the European grain industry is committed to maintain a ‘zero-tolerance’ policy for live insects to ensure compliance and high-quality products. Storage of harvested grain is critical to attain these safety and quality standards.
Four European associations – COCERAL, EUROMAISIERS, EUROMALT and UNISTOCK – have conducted this survey. Traders and collectors indicate that they manage insect infestation in their own silos predominantly by a combination of air circulation, fumigation and storage insecticides. At farms they are mostly using fumigation, but they also combine it with insecticides and air circulation. At port silos operators mainly combine insecticides and fumigation, but they also use them together with air circulation.
As environmental conditions (temperature and humidity) are the main factors influencing the development of pests at storage facilities, there are cases where air circulation is not fully efficient for compliance with safety requirements, and operators therefore require the use of insecticides and fumigants. However, at the same time, the availability of storage insecticides is becoming increasingly limited with the non-renewal of authorisation of key active substances and lack of new solutions.
This report highlights the difficulties faced by European operators in combining the available management techniques against storage insect infestation, and explains why COCERAL stresses the need for regulatory developments as well as increased research and development of new active substances and pest control solutions.