Australia’s main grain crops are Wheat, Barley, Canola, Sorghum, Oats, Rice and Pulses and Australian grain exports account for a significant proportion of global trade. The Australian grain industry relies on fumigation to meet local and international market requirements for pest-free product.
The most common pest species in Australian grain are: Weevils: (Sitophilus spp.) Lesser grain borer: (Rhyzopertha dominica), Rust-red flour beetle: (Tribolium spp.), Saw-toothed grain beetle: (Oryzaephilus spp.), Flat grain beetle: (Cryptolestes spp.), Indian meal moth: (Plodia interpunctella), Angoumois grain moth: (Sitotroga cerealella). Effective fumigation treatment kills all life-cycle stages of pests (egg, larvae, pupa and adult) and prevents chemical resistance, in which pest species become increasingly tolerant to fumigants due to poor fumigation practices.
Current fumigants used in the grain industry include Phosphine (PH3), Sulfuryl Fluoride (SO2F2), Methyl Bromide (CH3Br), Ethane Dinitrile (C2N2), Carbon Dioxide (CO2) and Ethyl Formate (C3H6O2). Continuous monitoring of fumigant concentration over the required exposure period ensures that effective treatment has occurred and the recorded CxT (concentration over time) data can be used as validation that the required parameters, for an effective fumigation, have been met.
Web-based remote monitoring, as provided by the Spectros Instruments FumeView application, means exposure of personnel to fumigation gas can be reduced to the absolute minimum time required during the fumigation event. Monitoring fumigant concentration following ventilation ensures effective clearance for health and safety purposes and export requirements.
Air-Met Scientific can provide a range of both high-range and low range gas detectors for grain fumigants, to monitor treatment concentration, clearance and personal protection during handling and transport.