Pest control across the supply chain

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                             May | June 2013
        Pest control across the supply chain

Grain & Feed Milling Technology is published six times a year by Perendale Publishers Ltd of the United Kingdom.
All data is published in good faith, based on information received, and while every care is taken to prevent inaccuracies,
the publishers accept no liability for any errors or omissions or for the consequences of action taken on the basis of
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©Copyright 2013 Perendale Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form
or by any means without prior permission of the copyright owner. Printed by Perendale Publishers Ltd. ISSN: 1466-3872

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control                                 across the supply chain
                             Pest control
            in storage
            Following last year’s poor
                   harvest experience

                         in the United
                    Kingdom, there’s
                   a clear recognition
                      that every grain
                   counts. A planned
                           approach is
                        proving key in
                   maximising output
                      from the supply

         rotecting grain and silos from insect          farm. We do process it, by removing dust and         the building treatment by June,” says Black.
         infection is an important factor to            foreign bodies, but the grain itself is basically    “For this reason, we are actively promoting
         be aware of. “Clearly millers want             in the same condition as when it arrives,”           the benefits of ensuring treatments are made
   high quality, consistent grain,” says Martin         says Savage. Ken Black, national account man-        up to two months prior to harvest, ahead
   Savage, trade policy manager, National               ager for rural hygiene, Bayer, United Kingdom,       of what could be another challenging year.”
   Association for British and Irish Millers            advocates a pro-active, preventative approach
   (nabim), United Kingdom, but this is not             when protecting grain. “This is nothing new          Good grain store practices
   always acknowledged by farmers.                      and should be the case every year, however              With this in mind, Savage says that pro-
                                                        the need is emphasised this year given the           moting good grain store practices amongst
      “There are some perceptions amongst               lateness of the agricultural calendar this spring.   suppliers is very important; a factor that
   farmers that millers carry out a degree of               “Predictions are that 70-80 percent of           offers pay back on a number of levels.
   physical cleaning of the grain after it leaves the   farmers still won’t have done their fabric of        “Primarily there’s the management of the

32 | may - June 2013                                                                                               Grain &feed millinG technoloGy

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Ann A5Grain0212.indd millinG technoloGy
      victam  feed 1                                                                                                                            | 33
                                                                                                                               may - June 201315:37:04

                                                                                                                                                      Thoroughly modern
                                                                                                                                                Black explains that the Maximum
                                                                                                                                            Residue Level (MRL) for deltameth-
                                                                                                                                            rin - the active contained in Bayer’s
                                                                                                                                            grain store treatment, K-Obiol® is
                                                                                                                                            2 mg/kg. “A significant advantage
                                                                                                                                            of K-Obiol® is that when either of
                                                                                                                                            its formulations are applied at their
                                                                                                                                            recommended rate, the residue
                                                                                                                                            level is only 0.25 mg/kg - 8 times
                                                                                                                                            lower than the MRL.
                                                                                                                                                “This is something we’re keen
                                                                                                                                            to communicate to millers, because
                                                                                                                                            we understand the legitimate con-
                                                                                                                                            cerns they and their customers
                                                                                                                                            have regarding pesticide residues,
                                                                                                                                            which is why, K-Obiol® has been
                                                                                                                                            formulated to have such a low
                                                                                                                                            MRL,” says Black.
                                                                                                                                                K-Obiol® is formulated to con-
                                                                                                                                            trol a wide range of stored crop
                                                                                                                                            insects, including grain weevils, flour
                                                                                                                                            beetles, grain borers, saw-toothed
                                                                                                                                            grain beetles, and flying insects too.
                                                                                                                                            It’s available in two modern pyre-
                                                                                                                                            throid formulations, both containing
                                                                                                                                            the active ingredient, deltamethrin.
                                                                                                                                            K-Obiol® EC25 has been formu-
                                                                                                                                            lated to treat the fabric of grain
                                                                                                                                            silos and storage facilities prior to
                                                                                                    Image courtesy of Alpha Fumigation Services Ltd
                                                                                                                                            the introduction of grain. K-Obiol®
                                                                                                                                            EC25 can also be used as an admix-
                                                                                                                                            ture, post-harvest and will offer up
                                                                                                                                            to 12 months protection. The sec-
                                                                                                                                            ond formulation, K-Obiol® ULV6,
                                                                                                                                            is also designed to be used as an
                                                                                                                                            admixture, post-harvest.
                                                                                                                                                Black explains that this treat-
                                                                                                                                            ment offers a number of key ben-
                                                                                                                                            efits. “As well as having an incredibly
                                                                                                                                            low MRL, K-Obiol® also offers no
                                                                                                                                            with-holding period. Other similar
                                                                                                                                            treatments commonly have a with-
                                                                                                                                            holding period of at least 90 days,
                                                                                                                                            meaning that the grain can’t be
                                                                                                                                            processed until three months after
                                                                                                                                            the application. Grain treated by
store to keep moisture and temperature             everything is being done to protect their                                      K-Obiol® can be processed straight away.”
levels down; they themselves can damage            valuable stored crops.”                                                            K-Obiol’s other key advantage lies
the grain, but they can also lead to other             Savage explains that working closely with                                  within its active ingredient deltamethrin.
problems such as moulds and secondary              farmers to strongly advocate the cleaning of                                   “Competitor products often contain actives
insect infestation.”                               the store and the measures carried out to rid                                  from the organophospate chemical family,”
    The process for controlling this starts at     them of any insects, prior to the grain being                                  says Black. “This is old chemistry now and
a very early stage and begins with thorough        introduced at harvest is key. “The penalties                                   has been heavily used over the past years.
store cleaning and ensuring that any residues      at stake are really too high not to prioritise                                 Some strains of beetles and weevils are now
of grain from the previous year are removed        these measures because our customers are                                       resistant to this and require a further applica-
and treatments are applied where necessary.        very sensitive about pesticide residues, so we                                 tion of a pyrethroid insecticide or fumiga-
    Black echoes Savage’s comments, noting         really encourage thorough store preparation                                    tion to achieve full control, heightening the
that in a late cereals season when there are       in the first instance.”                                                        amount of chemical applied to the grain and
many other farm work pressures, there is a             He appreciates that in order to fully                                      therefore increasing the residue risk.”
risk that good store hygiene will slip down        protect the grain, a treatment will need to be                                     Peter Crowden is a specialist pest con-
the priority list, yet it must not be forgotten.   applied to the product once it’s in store and                                  troller at Rutland Pest Control and sits
“An early application of a grain treatment         he’s aware of customer concerns surround-                                      on the NPTA (National Pest Technicians
product to the fabric of the building will         ing this. That said, Savage acknowledges                                       Association) board. Peter specialises in pest
ensure that the store is protected against         that if insecticide treatments are carried                                     control on arable farms and explains that
any previous insect infestations or re-            out properly and in accordance with the                                        K-Obiol® is his product of choice.
infestations later on in the season,” says         labels then it’s a reasonable and necessary                                        “We’re confident in using both K-Obiol®
Black. “It offers the peace of mind that           approach.                                                                      EC25 as a treatment to the fabric of the

34 | may - June 2013                                                                                                                                      &feed millinG technoloGy

 building and K-Obiol® ULV6 as a grain             a practical level, mills receiving grain with        Supply chain strategy
 ad-mixture,” says Crowden. “Deltamethrin          insect infestations would report the rejection          With this in mind, it would appear that
 does not significantly penetrate the grain,       to either of those assurance schemes and             the key for success in these challenging
 therefore providing confidence that the MRL       they would either carry out an immediate             times is strategy. It begins with an early,
 will not be exceeded.”                            audit or it would be flagged up for the next         proactive response to preparing the grain
                                                   annual audit.”                                       store, well in advance of the harvest. It
 Financial implications                                                                                 then continues into how farmers treat the
     While flour millers do hold some weight       New infestations                                     grain once it’s in the store. The strategy
 when advising on methods of best practice,            Crowden highlights another financial             then extends into how the growers decide
 Crowden believes that the biggest incentive       implication related to insect infestation. “In       to market their product.
 for growers to protect their grain is the         the event of new insect infestations occur-             In the United Kingdom, such a strate-
 financial implications associated with having     ring in the stored grain, it will be necessary       gic marketing approach is advocated by
 their wheat rejected due to insect infesta-       to consider the use of ad-mixed insecticide          the cereals and oilseed rape levy board,
 tions. “The mere presence of insects at           such as, K-Obiol® EC25, or K-Obiol®                  the HGCA. “They encourage farmers
 mills is unacceptable because they will make      ULV6. Another approach is aluminium phos-            to market their cereal proactively and
 it through the cleaning and sieving proc-         phide fumigation, but use of this method             according to a plan,” says Savage. “This
 esses and can turn up in the final products.      is reliant on whether or not it is permitted         may involve selling some of the grain early
 Generally speaking, the presence of any           by the end markets. Fumigation is a very             in the season, a further quantity mid-way
 insect leads to rejection.”                       expensive option, it can often cost anything         through the year and some at the end of
     Savage says that in the event of insects      up to £5 per tonne. “In contrast, treatment          the season. Essentially this means produc-
 being present, the grain is likely to be          with K-Obiol® EC25 is around 62-65 p per             ers will be able to spread their price risk
 returned to the farmer. Not only will he not      tonne and will provide up to 12 months               where they have the confidence that grain
 get paid for that delivery, he’ll also have to    protection when used as an ad-mixture,”              is protected for the full 12-month cycle.
 cover the haulage cost. Failing that, it might    he says.                                             This is a win-win situation as, from a milling
 get used for animal feed and therefore                From a pest controller’s point of view,          point of view, it helps to ensure a continu-
 attract a far lower price.” Savage adds that      Crowden is in agreement with Black and               ous supply of high-quality, insect free grain
 understandably, farmers are aware of this,        Savage. He warns that growers need to deal           throughout the season.
 and mills do make it very clear.                  with any pest issues before the 2013 crop
     “nabim and MAGB represent proces-             is harvested, or face severe impairment to
 sors on the boards of Red Tractor and the         grain quality. “This will result in the loss of
                                                                                                           More inforMation:
 Scottish Quality Crops (SQC) so we can            grain, lost quality premiums and the pos-
 ensure that the standards focus on good           sibility of a load being rejected due to insect
 store management and pest control. On             infestation.”


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 Grain &feed millinG technoloGy                                                                                                      may - June 2013 | 35

                                                                                                Image 2: Hatch cover resting where it landed

                       Pest control
         in transit
        Grains on the move are
              not immune from
                 pest problems.

            Transportation time
              can be effectively
              used to solve this
                 issue, but does
             come with its own
               set of challenges

      by Mike Kelly, Acheta,
           United Kingdom

             e have around 100 years of             contained in the IMO’s Recommendations on           workers being off work with foot or chest
             experience in fumigating               the Safe Use of Pesticides in Ships, Applicable     problems when the gas seeped into boots
             to disinfest ships and their           to the Fumigation of Cargo Holds                    and wellingtons, or it was breathed in,
cargoes. These days the use of phosphine                                                                undetected, damaging and sometimes lethal
gas in bulk grain shipments, or consign-            What are the risks with                             lung problems.
ments, is not unusual, and is often seen            phosphine fumigation?                                   With methyl bromide, we were never
as an efficient use of the ship and time,               These two documents together are                allowed to sail a vessel ‘under gas’. The
arranging the fumigation to take place              extensive and comprehensive. Everyone               fumigation was completed at the quayside,
during a cargo’s voyage, using the vessel           involved in the fumigation of bulk grain and        with all but a few vital crew, on-shore in
itself as a mobile, floating fumigation             other cargoes, from the loading of the vessel       local hotels. But times have changed (not
chamber. However, as with on-land bulk              to be fumigated, to the handling of the grain/      necessarily for the better). I suspect it is due
grain fumigations, certain safety precautions       commodity being discharged from the vessel          to considerable pressure from all ends of
must be observed to maintain a satisfacto-          after in-transit fumigation, should be aware        the grain trade, but we now regularly see
ry level of safety for all involved - the pest      of their responsibilities to ensure it is as safe   grain cargoes travelling the oceans under
control contractor (fumigator), the ship’s          an activity as possible. Responsibilities vary      phosphine fumigation. This situation would
crew during the voyage, and the staff               with the activity during the fumigation pro-        be OK if everyone involved understood
involved in discharging the fumigated cargo         cedure, but everyone must take the subject          and followed all the safety rules. But this is
at the final destination port. The legal and        and their part in it seriously. Perhaps because     clearly not the case, as several mistakes and
safety requirements are detailed in several         phosphine has been in use for several               accidents have shown in recent months.
official documents, which are available to          decades, and in general is a less equipment-
everyone involved in this process:                  heavy application method, many people               Government safey services
                                                    involved tend to take it for granted and                Over recent years the Health & Safety
                                                    assume that safety is built-in to the activity.     Executive (HSE) has greatly reduced its
Fumigation                                          It is worth reminding everyone involved in          interest in and involvement with inland fumi-
   Health and safety guidance for employ-           phosphine fumigation, of the lethal potential       gations. During the annual BPCA Fumigation
ers and technicians carrying out fumigation         of these ‘easy-to-use little tablets’ and the       Diploma Course, HSE always explained the
operations, HSE’s document ISBN 978 0               other formulations:                                 standards and expectations in fumigation.
7176 2999 2 - HSG251                                    Phosphine gas (PH3) is never kept under         This has gradually ceased coinciding with the
                                                    pressure in cylinders, as methyl bromide            phasing out of methyl bromide. The normal
Recommendations on the safe                         used to be, because it will explode. It is gen-     grain trade has not seen any problems
use of pesticides in ships                          erated on-site by water vapour reacting with        in fumigating grain stocks in silos and flat
    The United Nations International                the solid metal phosphides. So you will see         storages across the land, but we no longer
Maritime Organisation (IMO) Safety of Life          tablets similar in size to Alka Selzer. This is     see an HSE overview, or any HSE presence
at Sea (SOLAS) Convention places an obli-           the only similarity to the effervescent antacid,    at all, realising finally last year that HSE no
gation on all governments to ensure all ship-       which we all know because PH3 is a deadly           longer has a single specialist to advise on
ping activities are carried out safely. The use     poisonous gas.                                      fumigations issues. They have, in association
of pesticides includes the fumigation of cargo          This is a major problem. When methyl            with the BPCA, produced and revised their
spaces and of cargo, in port, or in-transit, and    bromide was in use, everyone knew it                Guidance Notes, and this is now available as
any part of the ship so affected by their use, as   was a deadly gas, with lots of stories of           a downloadable free publication (ISBN 978 0

36 | may - June 2013                                                                                              Grain  &feed millinG technoloGy

    7176 2999 2 - HSG251), very useful, but the
    physical staff are no longer there – retired
    and not replaced.
        The recent accident in Northern
    Ireland, involving the vessel Arklow
    Meadow, occurred when some phosphine
    ‘sleeves’ were mishandled, by being left
    on the wet deck still generating phos-
    phine gas that resulted in a large-scale
    hospitalisation of those who inhaled the
    phosphine. The investigation and brief
    report, was by the Marine Accident
    Investigation Branch of Southampton (see
    the accident overview).
        A few years ago HSE would have been
    the major safety service to be involved in
    situations of this nature, but in recent years
    they have lost their fumigation specialists                            Image 1: Bulk grain loading
    through retirements. But what is the rel-
    evance of these changes? Is fumigation at sea
    any different in 2013 to what was the case
    in 2005? The answer unfortunately is yes, less                    but somehow grain handlers, silo opera-                            the legal human safe limit was always 5 parts
    safe, and why is as follows:                                      tors, shippers and exporters/importers                             per million (ppm) for an exposure of a normal
                                                                      and other traders seem to have forgotten                           working day, and exceptionally 15 ppm for up
    Changes in perception                                             the main issues. Fumigation is the use of                          to 15 minutes. This was for a gas everyone
        With the phasing out of methyl bro-                           a potentially deadly gas, which is usually                         knew and understood to be dangerous, and
    mide, there is also a reduced level of                            significantly more dangerous to humans                             which was to be treated with great care and
    understanding of the risks and hazards of                         than to insects.                                                   caution. Cargoes to be fumigated with methyl
    cargo fumigations. The relevant legislation                          Let me explain this last statement so                           bromide were done either on land before
    is still in place, and the strongly-worded                        there is no confusion;                                             loading, or in a ship with the crew taken off to
    advisory documents covering the activi-                              Methyl bromide would kill insects and                           a nearby hotel. No questions and no objec-
    ties involving fumigation at sea remain,                          humans easily, within a space of a few hours;                      tions, and safety was paramount, with the

     Grain weevils         Grain borers

     Flour beetles        Saw-toothed
                                                                                               from insect attack.
                          grain beetles


                                                                                                                                 A complete solution for your
                                                                                                                                 stored grain protection

                                                                             The K-Obiol® range protects the fabric                           No withholding period after treatment
                                                                             of your grain storage building and                               Up to 12 months control
                                                                             equipment, as well as your stored grain.                         K-Obiol® ULV6 is for use as an admixture
                                                                             K-Obiol® ULV6 and K-Obiol® EC25 are                              K-Obiol® EC25 is for use on the fabric of
                                                                             liquid pyrethroid formulations.                                   the building, the equipment (pre-harvest)
                                                                                                                                               and as an admixture
USE PLANT PROTECTION PRODUCTS SAFELY. ALWAYS READ THE LABEL. Accepted for use by BRI, NABIM and TASCC. K-Obiol® EC25 (MAPP 13573. PCS 03641.) contains deltamethrin 25g/L and piperonyl butoxide 225g/L.
K-Obiol® UVL6 (MAPP 13572. PCS 03642) contains deltamethrin 6g/L and piperonyl butoxide 54g/L. K-Obiol® is a registered trade mark of Bayer CropScience. © Copyright of Bayer 2013.
Bayer CropScience Ltd, 230 Cambridge Science Park, Milton Road, Cambridge CB4 0WB Tel: 00800 1214 9451

    Grain    &feed millinG technoloGy                                                                                                                                       may - June 2013 | 37

HSE, IMO and Coastguard Agency all working      days with all crew safe on shore, than to
to the same standard and expectation.           allow the ship to sail with a much more
    Methyl bromide requires about 24 hours      hazardous gas in use, but utilizing the             Accident overview
to work, occasionally up to 48 hours, then      voyage time as an important component
the cargo can be ventilated and off-loaded      to get the best fumigation done at the              Release of phosphine gas
or otherwise handled.                           same time.                                          alongside Warrenpoint,
    Phosphine is a much slower-acting fumi-         Through most of the world, we have              Northern Ireland
gant, not just in its generation from solid     almost or actually, lost methyl bromide             On December 5, 2012, the general cargo
metal phosphides, but also in its action on     for sound environmental reasons, but                vessel Arklow Meadow was discharging
the target pests, particularly insects and      the simple tablet or sachet or plate                her cargo of maize alongside the timber
mites. Despite the much higher concentra-       generating phosphine gas is generating              berth at Warrenpoint, Northern Ireland.
tions in most cargo fumigations, insects        a gas more lethal to humans than many               Fumigation retainers (socks) had been
and mites take days to succumb. To work         people realise. Not quite completed                 placed on top of her cargo before the
effectively the fumigation usually extends at   fumigation sleeves left on a wet deck               vessel had sailed from Nikatera, Ukraine.
least 5-10 days. This is not just to make life  could easily kill people. Working in a              Although the vessel had been certified to
more difficult for the grain trade, but it is a hold before all gas has been vented and             commence cargo operations by a shore-
                                                a genuine clearance certificate issued by
biological fact of insect life. Insects can often                                                   side tank inspector after he had tested
survive more than a week at concentrations      a technically knowledgeable fumigator,              the atmosphere in the upper parts of the
which would kill humans in minutes.             could be the last work a person does.               holds, the fumigant retainers were not
    So methyl bromide works quickly,                Phosphine really is a more danger-              removed from the holds when discharge
                                                                         ous gas than               operations commenced.
                                                                         methyl bromide
                                                                         was,       though
                                                                         all fumigants
                                                                         are hazardous
                                                                         to man. The
                                                                         human         safe
                                                                         limit of 0.1 ppm
                                                                         compared to 5
                                                                         ppm tells it all,           Fumigation specialist on vessel
                                                                         and is not just             Arklow Meadow during the
                                                                         a silly over-reac-          emergency
                                                                         tion. It is agreed
      Image 4: Lightly toasted wheat!’ after
                                                                         throughout the
      explosion and surface flame in the hold                                                       As a result, some of the fumigant retainers
                                                                         western world,
                                                                                                    were removed by the crew and some
                                                                         and the United
                                                                                                    were shipped into the shore hoppers. The
                                                                         States that this
                                                                                                    retainers removed by the crew started
      Image 3: Testing for                                              very low level
      gas, after the event                                                                          to smoke profusely, and a retainer burst,
                                                                        is the only safe
                                                                                                    spilling its contents when it was removed
                                                                        level to work to.
                                                                                                    from the hopper. The smoking retainers
                                                                            My concern
                                                                                                    triggered a major emergency response
                                                                        is to see work-
                                                                                                    situation within the port and nine people
                                                                        ers not taking the
                                                                                                    were taken to hospital for treatment for
                                                                        tablets, sachets
                                                                                                    the exposure to ‘poison’.
                                                                        and sleeves and
                                                                        plates seriously,              Provided by MAIB March2013
                                                                        just because they
                                                                        look innocuous.
                                                                        We don’t need a
                                                                        lot of scientific detail,
                                                                        about the differences       ber that phosphine gas can self-ignite at
destroys the ozone layer, has never had a between these formulations - they all pro-                higher concentrations, another reason to
problem of resistance, and is ‘safe’ up to 5 duce Phosphine - sometimes quicker, some-              handle it with care and technical under-
ppm, and was done in-port.                      times slower, but it is always a toxic hazard       standing. A cargo of bulk wheat loaded
    Phosphine takes days, sometimes weeks to man, and correct actions are needed to                 in the south of France for Iran, when the
depending on species and temperature, has keep everyone involved safe.                              cargo was very warm and the ambient
quite a range of species showing serious            Gas detecting and measuring equipment           humidity was high, blew the 20-tonne
resistance, and is ‘safe’ only up to 0.1 ppm must be available on board, and those who              hatch covers off by exploding and break-
(or 0.2 ppm for 15 minutes) and is usually need to use it must have received suitable               ing the cleats. Only the derricks stopped
done at-sea.                                    training. Gas testing must take place during        the hatch falling into the sea, which was
    Remember: Methyl bromide should the voyage to ensure that areas where crew                      fortunately calm so no more damage was
never be used for fumigation in-transit (IMO members will work or sleep are free from               incurred and the vessel could return to a
Recommendations, Annex 1D).                     dangerous levels of the gas. The ventilation        port for repairs (Images 2, 3, 4).
                                                system and procedures must provide a safe
Weighing up the dangers                         to handle cargo at the port of discharge,
   It is very easy to look at this and say that and usually this is managed by the profes-
here is money talking. It is far too costly to sional fumigator contracted to service the             More Information:
hold a vessel in port whilst the fumigation is fumigated cargo.                                       Website:
conducted and completed, over maybe 15              Just before I close, please also remem-

38 | may - June 2013                                                                                         Grain &feed millinG technoloGy

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    Grain  &feed millinG technoloGy                                                                                     may - June 2013 | 39
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Description: Protecting grain and silos from insect infection is an important factor to be aware of. “Clearly millers want high quality, consistent grain,” says Martin Savage, trade policy manager, National Association for British and Irish Millers (nabim), United Kingdom, but this is not always acknowledged by farmers.