Stored grain fumigation research

A substance present in nature turned out to be just as effective as other chemical compounds to eradicate harmful organisms in stored grains, without negative effects, according to latest research.

Agro a Mexican enterprise that operates silos and warehouses, located in Sinaloa, Northwest Mexico, created a new technology of effective fumigation that solely uses ozone.

Famous weevils, moths and borer beetles live in a very comfortable environment when in the middle of a silo or warehouse fill with grains. There, they perforate the external layer of the stored products, feed freely, have good temperature and enough oxygen to grow and breed.

This insects, alongside some fungi, bacteria and viruses, cause annual loses of between four and ten percent of all the stored grains worldwide, mainly corn, wheat, sorghum, rice and beans.

Until five years ago, the main fumigation technique and pest control inside warehouses and silos was the use of chemical substances such as aluminum phosphide and methyl bromide, which were effective but left toxic residue for human consumption. However, this can be substituted by an ozone system that ventilates the grains for 48 hours.

The ozone removes the comfort zone of the insects making them unable to breathe and modifying the internal atmosphere of the room, using this technique pest free grains are obtained during the whole purchase, sale and storage cycle. The effectiveness of this technology meets the Official Mexican Standard.

This innovation already has industrial property protection and soon will be able to export their ozone fumigation system to Canada. In Mexico, companies with large grain and flour warehouses already use this technology.

Thanks to this technological innovations and the business plan created with the help of the Mexico-United Estates Foundation for Science, the Mexican enterprise that had 10 employees in 2008 today counts with 73 permanent employees and 20 temps for gathering season and grain storage.