August 10, 2011 | Jackie Roembke
print-button

Great Bend Co-Op Ends Six-Year Wheat Pest Infestation

Kansas company saves nearly $50,000 per year from pest-related losses

CASE STUDY

With weather-related delays in the spring planting season affecting farmers across the country, many wheat storage facilities will be holding on to current supplies longer to maximize crop profits. Great Bend Co-Op in Kansas is no exception. But until recently, wheat storage options were very limited for the full-service agricultural company.

“For the last six years, we’ve had nothing but problems managing bugs in the wheat,” says Dennis Neeland, operations manager for Great Bend Co-Op. The company was forced to alter its treatment process following the 2005 government ban on pesticides containing methyl bromide. “We always had to move as much wheat as possible right after the harvest because we had limited storage options. We were leaving money on the table.”

And it was a significant amount of money for an operation the size of Great Bend. The co-op was established in 1959 with less than one million dollars in first-year sales and has grown into a full-service agricultural company with more than 70 employees and nearly $120 million in annual sales. Today, Great Bend Co-Op consists of ten branches with grain elevators throughout Barton and Stafford Counties in central Kansas and has a storage capacity of more than seven million bushels. In addition to storing wheat, milo, corn, soy and oats, the company operates a feed department and farm store.

“The damage from the bugs was costing us money on all of the wheat we had to store,” says Great Bend general manager Frank Riedl of the infestation, primarily consisting of the lesser grain borer and red flour grain beetle. “For a company like ours storing nearly one million bushels, we were looking at upwards of $50,000 in losses.”

That was before area manager Doug Crook learned of Diacon II Insect Growth Regulator (IGR) from the Professional Agriculture Division of Central Life Sciences. He had heard of others in the industry finding success with the product, and Great Bend Co-Op decided to try Diacon IGR at its storage facilities in early 2010.

“Diacon IGR worked incredibly well for us, and we were able to ship with zero insect damaged kernels (IDK) when our first batch of grain went out,” says Crook. “We’ve always done our best to clean our storage areas and tried several different premise sprays, but no insecticide we’ve used has the residual of Diacon IGR.”

Alex Roth, elevator operator for Great Bend, said the wheat is treated with Diacon II IGR as it moves up the elevator leg via a series of spray nozzles affixed inside of the leg at 45-degree angles. Roth said he has determined an ideal ratio of Diacon IGR that is mixed in a 200-gallon container and used to treat nearly 3,000 bushels per hour.

“I constantly monitor the wheat, and I was thrilled to find nothing moving,” says Roth. “The wheat came out very well conditioned.”

With the pest infestation finally controlled, Great Bend Co-op has been able to hold onto more wheat for longer, deliver a product with high protein and sell to flour mills that won’t accept insect-damaged wheat.

“Diacon IGR has allowed us to maximize our profits by keeping us pest free,” says Riedl.

Diacon II IGR, a liquid formulation, and Diacon-D IGR, a dry formulation, are EPA-approved, tolerance exempt insect growth regulators (IGR) used to control stored product insects by breaking the insect life cycle and preventing larvae from maturing into adults. Diacon-D IGR is a dry formulation with versatile applications, including direct-to-grain or empty premise treatment. Diacon II IGR can be  applied directly to grain or used in fogging applications and is approved virtually everywhere stored product insects are a problem — farm storage, large silos, peanut bins, food processing facilities and more.

(S)-Methoprene, the active ingredient in Diacon IGR, protects stored grains and raw agriculture commodities from damaging insects by interfering with the normal process of insect development. Diacon IGR is effective against a broad range of insects, such as: almond moth, Indian meal moth, lesser grain borer, saw-toothed grain beetle, merchant beetle, red flour beetle, confused flour beetle, and others. Diacon IGR can also be used to treat pet food, animal feedstuffs, birdseed and any other commodity you want to protect from storage insects.

To requestion information, click here: Diacon-D or Diacon II IGRs.

More Articles

Beyond OSHA Combustible Dust Compliance
Star Milling uses a VAC-U-MAX breakaway central vacuum system, that meets OSHA's requirements for a combustible dust vacuum, to keep its facility clean and compliant. Photo by Air Cleaning Technology

Beyond OSHA Combustible Dust Compliance

November 24, 2014 | Online Exclusive |

Feed mill employs portable combustible dust central vacuum to remove fugitive grain dust and eliminates the need to enter confined spaces for cleaning.

[Read More]
Feed Industry Invests in Education
The Northern Crops Institute, located on the campus of North Dakota State University in Fargo, ND, has educated visitors from more than 130 countries.

Feed Industry Invests in Education

November 11, 2014 | Cover Story | Elise Schafer

The Northern Crops Institute renovates its feed mill on North Dakota State University’s Fargo campus with state-of-the-art equipment donated by feed industry suppliers.

[Read More]
Feeding Signals: The 
Cows Say it All

Feeding Signals: The 
Cows Say it All

October 28, 2014 | Online Exclusive |

Feeding perfect rations is only possible when you understand feed analysis, the properties of the feed, the way a cow functions and her milk production. The concept 'Feeding signals' looks at all these aspects: from mouth to rumen and intestines. In this article we touch on a few things to consider when using this concept.

[Read More]