Computer Model Aids Grain
By Ben Hardin
February 27, 1997
Insecticide applications on stored wheat can be reduced or eliminated by
timely cooling of the grain with automated fans.
This cost-saving and environmentally friendly management advice comes from
entomologists with USDAs
Agricultural Research Service. They
developed a computer model called Stored Grain Advisor (SGA) to help with
decisions on grain handling. They say unaerated grain is a prime breeding
ground for rusty grain beetles, particularly unaerated wheat in bins of 3,000
bushels or more.
Computer simulation studies showed that an automatic aeration controller
could keep insect populations below economically damaging levels without
insecticides as far south as Oklahoma. When set to turn on fans whenever air
temperature is 18 degrees F lower than grain temperature, the automated system
helps suppress insect development and reproduction by keeping grain cool and
saves energy and grain weight loss by cooling only when necessary.
Users of SGA can click on an insect identification icon to see pictures of
16 of the most damaging insects in stored wheat along with descriptions of the
pests and the damage they inflict.
SGA graphically predicts how different management choices such as time of
fumigation affect specific insects population growth. Software for SGA is
designed to run under Microsoft Windows® on an IBM-compatible personal
computer. Farmers and grain elevator operators can get the software through the
extension programs of Kansas State
University, Oklahoma State University
and Montana State University.
Scientific contact: Paul
W. Flinn, USDA-ARS U.S. Grain
Marketing Research Laboratory, Manhattan, Kan., phone (785) 776-2707, fax
(785) 776-2792, firstname.lastname@example.org