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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


Location: Commodity Protection and Quality Research

2008 Annual Report

1a. Objectives (from AD-416)
Objective 1: Determine the comparative efficacy of alternative chemicals to methyl bromide and develop methods that keep alternative fumigants as well as methyl bromide out of the atmosphere following postharvest fumigation. • Sub-objective 1.A. Determine efficacy, practicality, and product quality (phytotoxicity) of alternative fumigants such as phosphine, sulfuryl fluoride, propylene oxide, ozone, and others to control postharvest commodity pests. • Sub-objective 1.B. Determine the efficacy of sulfuryl fluoride as an alternative to methyl bromide for use in flour/rice mills by direct comparison in laboratory and field experiments. • Sub-objective 1.C. Test absorbent materials to find more efficient materials than coconut-based activated carbon to recapture methyl bromide and other fumigants. • Sub-objective 1.D. Develop stacking and airflow techniques to maximize the efficiency of capturing methyl bromide from airstreams following commodity fumigation. Objective 2: Electrophysiological and behavioral responses of pests to host compounds • Sub-objective 2.A. Cigarette beetle host attractant identification and behavioral evaluation. • Sub-objective 2.B. Navel Orangeworm host attractant identification and behavioral evaluation. Objective 3: Develop combination quarantine treatments for foreign and domestic hay exports including timothy, alfalfa, oat, Bermuda, and Sudan grass hays and rye straw that utilize hay harvesting and postharvest handling procedures, and apply chemical fumigants to minimize human exposure. Objective 4: Develop models to accurately predict damage to nuts by navel orangeworm and determine the feasibility, accuracy, and precision of these predictions. • Sub-objective 4.A. Develop models for damage in Nonpareil and pollenizer almonds in Kern County based on previous year’s damage, harvest date and/or sanitation efficacy and then determine if these models can be extended to the entire almond belt • Sub-objective 4.B. Determine if the methodologies or models developed for almonds can be used to predict navel orangeworm damage in pistachios • Sub-objective 4.C. Develop models for almonds relating navel orangeworm damage to males captured in pheromone traps within the same year

1b. Approach (from AD-416)
Develop alternative chemical controls and quarantine fumigations for stored product insects. Develop equipment and investigate the feasibility of controlling fumigant emission to the atmosphere by trapping and destruction. Develop combinations of fumigants with other technologies to reduce the dosage of fumigant required to control or eradicate stored product and quarantine insects in durable and perishable commodities. Develop non-chemical control approaches for stored product pests of commodities to reduce the use of methyl bromide. Develop methods to detect infestations by detecting volatile emissions from insects and/or commodity. Develop methods to enhance or maintain quality of perishable commodities and ensure that treatments developed do not reduce quality of persihable commodities or shorten shelf-life. Formerly 5302-43000-030-00D and 5302-43000-028-00D (12/07)

3. Progress Report
Fresh perishable commodities, artichokes and white-flesh peaches, were successfully fumigated with phosphine to determine if the treatment caused any phytotoxicity to the commodities. The treatments caused no damage. Several combinations of pressure, vacuum, and CO2 were efficacious against the cowpea weevil which is particularly tolerant of these parameters. The collection of volatiles from pistachios and other Navel Orangeworm (NOW) hosts was initiated. Suitable hosts for NOW will become available later in the season after which bioassays for host preference can commence. Volatile collection protocols are now in place. Wing traps, with virgin females as a pheromone source, and egg traps were placed in forty-one, 40 acre almond plots in Kern County. The number of males and eggs at key periods will be compared to subsequent damage to Nonpareil and Monterey almonds in these plots. Hessian fly was reared in the greenhouse on wheat seedlings using improved techniques. A research protocol was developed to determine the efficacy of a phosphine and carbon dioxide mixture to control Hessian fly puparia in basic tests. Procedures developed by regulatory agencies to export hay from the U.S. to China were reviewed with National Hay Association representatives. This relats to NP 308, Component 2.

4. Accomplishments
1. Cold Temperature Fumigation of Perishable Commodities with Phosphine Imported and Exported perishable commodities often must be treated with methyl bromide which often causes damage to these products and shortens shelf-life. Scientists at the San Joaquin Valley Agricultural Sciences Center have tested a new application of applying phosphine at cold temperature as an alternative to methyl bromide treatment. Results show that the new treatment has no phytotoxic effects on artichokes, white-flesh peaches and white-flesh nectarines. These results will lead to further testing of the applications to establish efficacy to killing target pests, and if successful in showing efficacy, will lead to the opening of imports of artichokes from Chile and the export of peaches and nectarines to foreign countries. This relates to NP 308, Component 2, Problem C.

2. Effect of a Phosphine and Carbon Dioxide Gas Mixture on Hessian Fly Puparia Regulatory agencies require a chemical treatment of hay exported to China in order to prevent accidental introductions of insect pests. Tests were conducted by scientists at the San Joaquin Valley Agricultural Sciences Center that showed a phosphine and carbon dioxide gas mixture provides a high level of control of Hessian fly puparia at low temperatures, and may be efficacious for a general sanitation treatment. A general proposal was presented to China to consider this treatment in partial fulfilment of import requirements. This research could lead to greater U.S hay exports. This research addresses NP 308, Component II, Problem Statement B.

5. Significant Activities that Support Special Target Populations

Last Modified: 2/23/2016
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