Using fumigants correctly is critical in protecting this year’s bumper grains harvest.
Agriculture Victoria Statewide Specialist Chemicals’ Steven Field said there was a variety of fumigants on the market, including nitrogen and carbon dioxide, but the bulk of stored grain was treated with phosphine generated from products containing aluminium phosphide.
‘‘In Victoria, anyone using aluminium phosphide products must hold appropriate authorisation such as an agricultural chemical users permit issued by DEDJTR,’’ Mr Field said.
‘‘All fumigants must be used in gas tight, sealable storages, the most common of which are silos.
‘‘Many silos on farm may not actually be gas-tight, including some that have only recently been purchased.’’
Mr Field said all silos used for fumigation should meet the Australian Standard AS2628 and be subjected to a pressure test before fumigant use.
‘‘Using fumigants in non gas-tight storages is well known to increase resistance as eggs, pupae and larvae may survive and will carry genes promoting phosphine resistance onto subsequent generations,’’ he said.
‘‘Despite the committed efforts of some in the grains industry, dealing with this issue over successive years has proven to be difficult.
‘‘The increased resistance to phosphine in insect populations highlights the need for everyone involved to take this matter seriously. Failure to do so will lead to phosphine becoming ineffective, leading to increased costs for farmers and potential difficulties in gaining access to export markets.’’
The Grains Research and Development Corporation has funded a grains storage extension project through to 2018 which has so far delivered high quality resources and educational material for farmers to use.
To access these resources, farmers can visit http://storedgrain.com.au/ or phone 1800933845.