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Integrated Pest Management Programs to Reduce Reliance on Methyl Bromide Fumigation in Rice Mills


The overall goal of this project is to develop an integrated pest management (IPM) plan for rice mills in the United States (US), primarily to control the red flour beetle, Tribolium castaneum (Herbst). <P>Specific objectives of the proposed research are: 1) Evaluate spatial distribution and movement patterns of red flour beetle populations to assess the role of rough rice storage as a source of infestations in mills 2) Evaluate factors that influence the capture of red flour beetles inside rice mills and develop optimized pheromone based monitoring programs 3) Assess survival of the red flour beetle on different rice components and develop predictive models for population development on each component 4) Evaluate the efficacy of surface insecticide treatments and sanitation targeting areas of red flour beetle activity 5) Develop a pest control alternative to methyl bromide fumigation through integration of model prediction, focused monitoring, targeted surface pesticide treatment and sanitation,and economic analysis 6) Develop a multi-channel technology transfer, outreach, education, and dissemination program Implementation of this program will allow rice mills to reduce the need for and frequency of structural fumigations. <P>Expected outputs from this project include: 1) Distribution maps of insects in rice mills 2) A model for red flour beetle developed specifically for rice mills that enables evaluation of fumigation and IPM programs 3) An integrated control program for rice mills to manage red flour beetle 4) New modules for a web-based management system 5) Workshops, seminars and publications

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Non-Technical Summary: <BR>The U.S. is a major exporter of rice, and both domestic consumption and export has been increasing in recent years. Due to the impending phase-out of the fumigant methyl bromide,revised integrated insect pest management plans specific for rice mills are critical to maintaining product quality and economic viability. Red flour beetle, Tribolium castaneum, is the primary pest in rice mills, and is the most frequently targeted pest for methyl bromide fumigations under the continuing use exemption program for rice mills. We are proposing to develop integrated pest management programs to reduce reliance on methyl bromide fumigation for red flour beetle control in rice mills in the U.S. The results should also be applicable to other insect pests in the rice milling system as well. Spatial distribution and movement patterns of red flour beetle populations will be assessed to determine the impact of rough rice storage as a source of infestation in mills, and thus limits the infestation sources to reduce the need for whole-plant control measures such as fumigation. As rice is milled, various components are produced, and we will develop predictive models for population development on various milling components, i.e. milled rice, husks and bran. At the same time, we will evaluate the effects of accumulations of these milled fractions on surfaces treated with residual insecticides, how these accumulations impact residual efficacy of the compound, and determine impacts of sanitation and cleaning on red flour beetle population development, in addition to conducting field assessments. A comprehensive cost-benefit analysis will integrate sampling and control. Technology transfer and information delivery will be accomplished through posting documents on eXtension and other websites and conducting workshops with stakeholders. Implementation of this program will allow rice mills to reduce the need for and frequency of structural fumigations and better meet EPA required terminations for methyl bromide. <P> Approach: <BR> Distribution and movement patterns of the red flour beetle will be evaluated at different rice mills and information generated used to identify potential sources. Extensive pheromone-based trapping using Dome traps baited with red flour beetle pheromone lures and kairomone oil will be conducted at three rice mills. Data will be analyzed by evaluating the differences in abundance and temporal pattern among the sites and among the different zones at a site. Spatial patterns will also be evaluated, focusing on capture around potential routes of entry and the correlations between captures in the rough rice areas and the mill. Concurrently with this monitoring research, information will be collected on the costs of materials and labor that are needed to run a pheromone trapping program. This information will be incorporated into the optimization of trap number and placement and will be used in economic evaluations of the cost/benefit of monitoring in IPM programs. To provide information on where the red flour beetle is likely to build-up in mills, growth and development of red flour beetles will be assessed on various rice mill products (rough rice, husks, brown rice, bran, three stages of milled white rice, and a collection of milling fractions as part of the final stage of the milling process). The results of these studies will provide information on where red flour beetle is most likely to occur in mills based on the preferred milling fractions, which should identify where to target monitoring and control efforts. Field experiments will be conducted at two rice mills, to determine if accumulated milling fractions absorb residues from an application of cyfluthrin and compromise residual efficacy. A combination of techniques including model prediction, focused monitoring, targeted surface pesticide treatment and sanitation, and economic analysis will be used to develop a pest control alternative to methyl bromide fumigation. Due to the dynamic nature of a rice mill facility in terms of structures, internal temperature dynamics, mill operation and pest management actions, implementation of a pest control alternative must be tailored to a specific mill facility. We will adapt the web-based Post-Harvest Grain Management Program (, which was developed through previous USDA funded projects, for red flour beetle control in rice mills. Three new components will be developed: 1) a red flour beetle population model tailored to userspecified mill facilities, 2) an economic model comparing the cost/benefits of methyl bromide fumigation and alternative pest control measures, and 3) a management decision advisor that estimates the best combination of measures (monitoring, surface treatment, sanitation) to achieve optimal red flour beetle control. We will employ several approaches for transferring the results of this research to major stakeholder and user groups including industrial and professional meetings, trade and extension publications, webbased knowledge and information delivery, and education and outreach industrial training.

McKay, Tanja
Arkansas State University
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