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Biosecurity defends key rural industry

Media Release: 30 November 2009


Australian researchers are studying genetic codes to learn how insects like the lesser grain borer are developing resistance to the world’s most widely used grain fumigant – phosphine.

With the harvest safely stored, grain growers often take a moment to relax; but not so the scientists involved in a national research effort to keep stored grain safe from feasting insects and to maintain Australia’s hard-earned reputation as a supplier of clean, pest-free grain.

Stored grain insects are a constant threat to grain exports – worth some $7 billion each year to the national economy.

Australia offers overseas grain buyers a ‘zero tolerance’ benchmark for insect infestation and this is a key element in Australia’s international competitiveness.

However, the capacity for insects to evolve their way around the limited number of environmentally safe fumigants available poses a constant challenge – one that is now being tackled by the Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) for National Plant Biosecurity. READ MORE

 Photos by: Chris Freebairn, Queensland Primary Industries and Fisheries  

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