The fumigant methyl bromide is being banned as an ozone-depleting substance and was extremely effective at disinfesting flour mills and other structures. As alternatives to methyl bromide, the grain industry is left with phosphine and the newer registered gas sulfuryl fluoride. Various alternatives to exclusive use of chemical insecticides are available and should be considered by grain managers in certain cases. Selection and application of the proper pest management approach for a given situation is very important to the grain manager.
The reason anyone decides to store grain is to make more money in the future than at the time of harvest. The grain manager must assess the costs and benefits of storage, and the level of risk will influence length of storage. Pest management strategies can have upfront costs that may result in benefits if high-quality grain is delivered when the price is high. Food safety regulations and quarantine laws related to grain shipping may have costs for compliance, but these rules and laws will help stored product managers to avoid future costs if grain is found to be out of compliance due to insects, molds and overall quality. Commercial grain storage has liabilities associated with the practice that can shape how companies protect themselves and lower risk.
Production of high-quality, plentiful crops is the hallmark of modern agriculture, and the inputs of labor and technology should not go to waste if the crops are not properly stored before processing or marketing. Stored Product Protection will help managers protect stored agricultural products for their benefit, and the benefit of those receiving the food.