OSCII Activity C.25

Organic integrated pest management for grain storage and processing facilities

Activity summary

It is illegal to sell grain or finished processed foods infested with insects (White et al. 2011). There are a number of insects that are found in stored grain and in processing facilities. The most common are rusty grain beetle, red flour beetle, confused flour beetle, Indian meal moth, warehouse beetle, rice weevil and granary weevil. However, organic grains, the facilities that process organic grains, and the warehouses that store the finished organic products are often infested with stored-product insects. This makes these products unacceptable for consumers and infested product is often discarded. Conventional producers and processors can use chemical insecticides, such as phosphine and malathion, to control infestations, but these products cannot be used by organic producers or in facilities that store organic products. The Organic Value Chain Roundtable’s Research and Innovation Working Group (2011) cited this as a national research priority, “developing preservation and post harvest storage alternatives in organic food systems”. Two of the top ten largest organic grocery category segments in 2008 are produced from grains: $14 million in sales of organic bread and $32 million in organic breakfast cereals. In 2009, there was approximately 200,000 ha in cereal production, which once harvested, needs to be protected against storage insect pests (AAFC Organic Production website).

There are five objectives of this project are:

  1. Demonstration of organic compatible control methods (exclusion, hermetic storage, extreme temperatures) that do not require registration in processing facilities;
  2. Laboratory and large scale tests of organic synergists for pyrethrins and new botanicals against storage insects;
  3. Facilitate label expansion of organic insecticides currently registered in Canada for stored-product insects;
  4. Facilitate testing of organic insecticides registered in other countries, but not yet registered in Canada; and
  5. Publish pamphlet on control of storage insects for organic farms and processing facilities.

Activity researchers

Name Affiliation

Paul Fields, Activity Leader

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Cereal Research Centre
Russell Hynes Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Saskatoon Research Centre