Student and University
Yanyu Li, Murdoch University (WA)
The key biosecurity problem this PhD tried 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.
This project was to 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 was 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 not only tackled specific issues in fumigant resistance but also expand on farm grain storage, chemical free grain and application methods.
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)
- Professor YongLin Ren (Murdoch University)
- Dr Manjree Agarwal (Murdoch University)
- Dr Yang Cao (Academy of State Administration of Grain – China)