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ARS Home » Plains Area » Manhattan, Kansas » Center for Grain and Animal Health Research » Stored Product Insect and Engineering Research » Research » Research Project #433031

Research Project: Improving Efficacy of Aerosol Applications for Control of Stored Product Insects in Wheat and Rice Mills

Location: Stored Product Insect and Engineering Research

Project Number: 3020-43000-034-002-R
Project Type: Reimbursable Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Oct 1, 2016
End Date: Aug 31, 2021

The long-term goal of this Integrated Research Project is to develop and implement IPM programs that effectively replace methyl bromide (MB) as a structural treatment for mills, warehouses, and food processing facilities. The proposed research focuses specifically on improving the efficacy and utilization of aerosol insecticides, which are being increasingly used as components of IPM programs. Our proposal focuses on the three primary objectives of improving base aerosol efficacy by adjusting particle size, improving methodology for disseminating aerosols in field sites, and modeling distribution of aerosols to ensure more timely and effective applications in field sites with different equipment and structural configurations. Questions addressed are: How can non-fumigant management options be developed and/or improved as part of a systems-based integrated pest management strategy, What strategies could be used in a systems-based integrated pest management approach to improve pest management in the post-harvest environments impacted by the loss of methyl bromide, and how can current methyl bromide alternatives be improved or combined to improve pest management and the economic viability of the producers. Economic evaluations will be research components will be conducted and extension and outreach will be made to transfer the results of the research.

ARS investigators will be involved in a collaborative manner with all aspects of the project, with the majority of the research done by post-doctoral researcher and graduate student based at Kansas State University. The ARS portion of the research will be focused on determining the effects of cleaning and sanitation on residual efficacy, using a combination of laboratory and field tests to determine how the accumulation of food residues impacts the efficacy of insecticides deposited on surfaces after being applied as an aerosol. ARS scientists will also be involved in assessing different methodologies to improve the coverage of aerosol insecticide applications. We will help conduct field-level studies in multiple sites utilizing various application systems, and determine the common characteristics that affect dispersion and efficacy of aerosols, evaluate different application systems in terms of their coverage pattern in droplet concentration and size, evaluate different number of application locations and exposure times on efficacy. ARS scientists will also be involved in developing models of aerosol applications that will help in determining physical factors that can affect aerosol distribution, such as changes in the pressure used to dispense the aerosols, the induced airflow around the spray unit, and how different spray nozzles dispense an aerosol. Computational fluid dynamics will be used to develop models using data collected in the earlier objectives. Simple models for small chambers will be developed as well as a more comprehensive model that will be applicable to a variety of milling configurations. Results of these studies will be disseminated through oral and written presentations and at technology transfer meetings sponsored by private industry, including the Annual International Research Conference on Methyl Bromide Alternatives and Emissions Reductions.