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8th International Conference on Controlled Atmospheres and Fumigation in Stored Products

The 8th International Conference on Controlled Atmosphere and Fumigation in Stored Products (CAF) was held from 21-26 September 2008 in Chengdu, China. Approximately 300 delegates from more than 20 countries attended. The conference was an opportunity for researchers to showcase their research, learn about research trends and network with likeminded people from around the world.

Greg was the co-chair and keynote speaker for the session on ‘Effects on insect control and economic thresholds’. His paper titled ‘Combining the benefits of cooling and phosphine fumigation to meet the challenge posed by grain insects,’ reported on research from CRC50060: Cool Grain Fumigation. 

There were almost 120 oral and poster presentations, ranging from new discoveries from the laboratory to the practical application of controlled atmospheres (CAs) and fumigation.

Several of these studies focused on ozone (O3), reporting that ozone is very toxic to insects, but limited penetration into commodities means that methods to enhance the penetration will be needed if the ozone is to be a viable treatment.  

Quite a few papers dealt with either the fundamentals of CA efficacy or practical aspects of their application. It seems that controlled atmospheres (i.e. low oxygen or high carbon dioxide) have only limited application to the types and scale of grain storage typical of Australia.

Many papers were also presented on phosphine ranging from its mode of action, resistance, sorption and evaluating or improving fumigations of grain storages. Phosphine is clearly still the most widely used grain treatment and efforts continue to ensure its long-term viability. China appears to have a similar problem to Australia regarding phosphine resistant flat grain beetle, Cryptolestes ferrugineus however, they are also developing fumigation protocols for its control. 

Several papers on evaluation and prediction of fumigation performance in large structures were also included in the program. The best option as an alternative to fumigant appears to be Sulfuryl fluoride, which is already being used against grain insects in some places.

Finally, there were papers presented on plant-derived compounds as potential fumigants. However, if these are to be used in the grain industry there are major hurdles to be overcome, including production costs, reduced efficacy through sorption by grain, and the practicalities of use in grain storage facilities.  

The conference was an excellent opportunity for Greg to network with international researchers. He made useful contacts with researchers from the United States Department of Agriculture, Kansas State University and Oklahoma State University. Other useful contacts included researchers from Argentina’s National Agricultural Research Institute, and the Henan Institute of Technology in China.

The next CAF will be held in Turkey in 2012.


When: September 2008
Location: Chengdu, China

Dr Greg Daglish had the opportunity to co-chair and be the keynote speaker for one of the sessions at the 8th International Conference on Controlled Atmospheres and Fumigation in Stored Products held in China.