Evaluation of Stirring to Control the Lesser Grain Borer in Stored Wheat

Friedman, Michelle
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Wheat is the most widely grown crop in the world and provides food for billions of people. Fulfilling the food demand of an increasing world population is a major growing concern. Wheat demands in Africa have been increasing over the years contributing to large deficits that result in 25% of the population being undernourished. It is estimated globally that one-third of the food produced is lost during postharvest operations. Reducing postharvest losses in developing countries could be a sustainable solution to increase food availability, reduce pressure on natural resources, and eliminate hunger. The lesser grain borer (LGB), Rhyzopertha dominica, is a large contributor to postharvest losses in wheat and actions to decrease these losses include developing effective, affordable, and easy to implement technologies. The objective of this research was to investigate the effects of stirring boxes of stored wheat containing LGBs, focusing on LGB mortality and wheat quality. My experiment consisted of two treatments: unstirred control boxes and stirred boxes, three replications and four data collection times (0, 40, 80, 120 days). Every twelve hours, the experimental containers were stirred one length of the container. Live LGBs flourished in the control containers and declined to nearly zero for the stirred containers from T=0 to T=80 days. Wheat moisture content, test weight, and amount of fine material were examined and resulted in significant variation between the stirred and controlled containers. Results from the experiment show that stirring is an effective method of disturbance to control live LGBs in stored wheat.