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Evaluation of Wireless Phosphine Sensors for Monitoring Fumigation Gas in Wheat Stored in Farm Bins

1
USDA, Agricultural Research Service, Center for Grain and Animal Health Research, 1515 College Avenue, Manhattan, KS 66505, USA
2
Centaur Analytics, Inc., 1923 Eastman Avenue, Suite 200, Ventura, CA 93003, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Insects 2019, 10(5), 121; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects10050121
Received: 4 April 2019 / Revised: 24 April 2019 / Accepted: 25 April 2019 / Published: 27 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Improving Stored Product Insect Pest Management)
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Abstract

Fumigation of grain bins with phosphine tablets is one method of insect control for stored products. Monitoring the concentration of the toxic gas at many locations over several days for a given structure or container can be challenging. In this study, a commercially-available system that wirelessly measures phosphine was evaluated in small-scale and large-scale tests. Small-scale testing was performed to study the repeatability and accuracy of the sensors. The wireless sensors were within 30 ppm of each other, over a range of 700 ppm phosphine. Large-scale testing evaluated the system during the fumigation of wheat stored in 7 m diameter, 120 metric ton, steel grain bins. As a reference, monitoring lines were distributed at several positions and depths in the bin in order to sample phosphine gas concentrations. A series of three fumigation trials were performed, with each lasting for over six days. The wireless devices collected local phosphine concentrations and temperatures every two hours without assistance from personnel. Although the fumigation trials were significantly different in terms of patterns in gas concentration over time, the two sampling methods gave similar trendlines. However, the automated data provided a more detailed picture of the fumigation process. This information may help fumigation managers to better evaluate fumigations and assure successful insect control. View Full-Text
Keywords: fumigation; wireless; grain; instrumentation fumigation; wireless; grain; instrumentation
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Brabec, D.; Campbell, J.; Arthur, F.; Casada, M.; Tilley, D.; Bantas, S. Evaluation of Wireless Phosphine Sensors for Monitoring Fumigation Gas in Wheat Stored in Farm Bins. Insects 2019, 10, 121.

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