|Morrison, William - Rob
|ARTHUR, FRANKLIN - Retired ARS Employee
|WANG, JING - Texas A&M University
|YANG, YUBIN - Texas A&M University
|WILSON, LLOYD - Texas A&M University
|ATHANASSIOU, CHRISTOS - University Of Thessaly
Submitted to: Agronomy
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/3/2020
Publication Date: 12/8/2020
Citation: Morrison III, W.R., Arthur, F.H., Wang, J., Yang, Y., Wilson, L.T., Athanassiou, C.G. 2020. Aeration to manage insects in wheat stored in the Balkan peninsula: Computer simulations using historical weather data. Agronomy. 10(12):1927. https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10121927.
Interpretive Summary: Wheat is one of the primary crops in the Balkan peninsula of Europe. There has been increasing concern among consumers about insecticide residues in their stored commodities, and regulatory agencies have removed many products once available for stored product protection. Concurrently, there has been increasing resistance to phosphine, the primary fumigant used after harvest. As a result, food facilities are increasingly turning to alternative integrated pest management (IPM) tactics. One underutilized tactic in Europe is grain aeration, whereby a low flow of air is passed over commodities to cool the temperature below a point suitable for pest insect development. Here, spatial and population modeling have indicated that wide swathes of the Balkan peninsula are suitable for the use of aeration to minimize losses by insects and avoid use of chemical control tactics. The northern parts of the Balkans may be able to solely rely on aeration, whereas the most southerly parts of the Balkans may have to employ additional chemical control tactics on top of aeration. Overall, our results provide guidelines for the increased potential of using aeration for management of wheat produced and stored in the Balkan peninsula.
Technical Abstract: Wheat is one of the major crops throughout the Balkan peninsula of Europe. Specific harvest and binning dates can vary depending on the specific geographic region. Grain aeration, wherein ambient air is used at low-volume airflow rates to cool a grain mass to levels that will suppress insect population development, is an under-utilized component of pest management plans for stored wheat. Successful use of aeration can potentially reduce fumigations of stored wheat, which will contribute to the amelioration of increasingly prevalent phosphine resistance. Historical weather data were used from 19 sites in the Balkan region to predict how quickly grains could be cooled through the use of aeration, using a web-based aeration model, and three different starting dates, including 1, 15, and 30 July. The model was used to predict population growth and development of Sitophilus oryzae, the rice weevil, with and without the use of aeration. Results show that in the northern regions of the Balkans, aeration implemented at the start of binning reduced insect populations far below pest levels in unaerated wheat, and may potentially eliminate the need for fumigations. In more southerly regions, additional chemical inputs such as fumigation or grain protectants may be necessary in conjunction with aeration. Results provide guidelines for the increased potential of using aeration for management of wheat produced and stored in the Balkan peninsula.