Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: November 10, 2005
Publication Date: January 31, 2007
Citation: Campbell, J.F., Arthur, F.H. 2007. Ecological implications for post harvest integrated pest management of grain and grain-based products. In: O. Koul and G.W. Cuperus, Eds. Ecologically Based Integrated Pest Management. Oxfordshire, UK: CAB International. p. 406-431. Technical Abstract: Integrated pest management emphasizes prevention, avoidance, monitoring and suppression of pest problems while meeting economic, public health, and environmental goals. Underlying effective IPM programs is an understanding of the ecological interactions among pests, natural enemies, and the environment within and around the system being managed. This is true in both pre-harvest and post-harvest applications, but post-harvest IPM takes place in human created and maintained landscapes that are quite artificial and thus presents unique challenges, but also some unique opportunities in terms of implementing an ecologically-based IPM program. For durable commodities, such as grain and grain-based products, stored-product insect infestation can occur beginning at harvest and continuing through bulk storage; conversion into processed commodities in food processing facilities; storage in warehouses; transportation in trucks, railcars, and ships; presentation on retail shelves, and ultimately storage in consumer pantries. At each of the locations there are differences in the nature of the environment and management strategies and tactics used, but all share the same characteristic that they are spatially and temporally patchy landscapes. This type of landscape structure has important implications for pest ecology and presents challenges in terms of evaluating pest populations and targeting pest management. As a result, application of IPM to these different stages of the post-harvest process varies due to differences in the spatial and temporal scale of the patchiness, the ability to monitor the pest populations, the number and types of management tools available, and the tolerance level for insect infestation. Because these are human created and maintained landscapes there is considerable potential for the manipulation of environmental conditions and landscape structure to make the habitat less favorable to pest populations. As a result, post-harvest ecologically based IPM focuses less on natural mortality factors maintaining populations below damaging levels, except perhaps in some bulk storage situations, and more on making the landscape less favorable to establishment and growth of infestations and controlling these infestations before they cause economic damage.