Grain Storage

Photograph of landscape with wheat silos

SAS is set to have broad application in grain held in storages on-farm, at up-country facilities and in processing facilities. Food-grade SAS is; already in use in other industries, safe to humans, other mammals, birds, fish, plants and the environment generally.

The use of SAS as a grain protectant addresses major issues for the industry:

Optimising On-Farm Grain Storage – On-farm grain storage infrastructure continues to increase, with significant use of both gas-tight / sealable and un-sealable storage (bunkers, pits and sheds) remaining a feature of the industry.  In high harvest periods growers need to utilise all their storage facilities – SAS provides growers with the confidence that their grain can be remain protected from infestation for 6 months or more, but also gives them the flexibility to open up their storages to take advantages of short-term, high margin selling opportunities.
The Advantage for Users of Un-sealable Storages – For growers who primarily use un-sealable storage (non-gas-tight silos, bunkers, pits and sheds), or users that use these lower-cost temporary un-sealable storage solutions, SAS offers confidence that these storages can remain infestation free but can be opened as needed.
SAS – A Structural Treatment to Control Insect Infestation – While diatomaceous earth still finds wide use as a structural treatment to control insect infestation, its effectiveness is relatively low and is considered a grain contaminant. Davren seeks to register SAS as a more effective, safe structural treatment pesticide.
The Advantage for Users of Gas-tight Storages – For growers that utilise gas-tight storages, there is often a trade-off between opening fumigated grain to take advantage of high margin short term, with the risk of new infestations, the cost of re-fumigation and long withholding times.  Including SAS into post-harvest treatments, means that with or without fumigation treatments like phosphine, growers can be confident that their grain will remain protected from the common pests.  Davren is looking for engineering partners to co-develop rapid SAS-application systems that would allow temporary, lower-cost sealable storages such grain and sausage bags (which are often hard to fumigate) to be utilised when other options are not available.
Gas tight grain storage
Maximum Residue Levels (MRL) – Conventional chemical-based grain protectants run the risk of leaving insecticidal residues on grain that exceeds allowable MRL. As resistance to conventional grain protectants continue to grow, their effectiveness will continue to decline while MRL will restrict higher treatment rates. Davren will be working with authorities to secure an MRL exemption for SAS, based on the substantial amount of safety data already collected for food-grade SAS materials.
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Grain Protectants

Davren’s lead SAS materials are being optimised as a grain protectants for wheat barley and sorghum.

Davren’s research and development has demonstrated the application of SAS as an effective insecticide against a range of insects which cause major economic loss.

Davren has shown that for barley and sorghum the lead SAS treatments which fully control pests in these grains, also meets industry’s bulk density requirements. Further optimisation of SAS products is underway to demonstrate the same for common Australian wheat classes.

Optimising On-farm Storage
Users of gas Tight Storage
Advantage for users of Un-sealable storage
Structural Treatments
Advantages of an MRL-exempt Insecticide

Rice Protectants

Davren is also investigating SAS for use in the protection of bagged rice.

Davren has already completed one collaboration with SunRice investigating SAS as a rice protectant and is pursuing a follow-on study in late 2021 / early 2022.

Invasive Ant Control

SAS solutions for amenity pest management are under development. Leveraging previous in-lab research with the Queensland Dept of Agriculture and Forestry, that demonstrated proof of principle for the control of red imported fire ants (RIFA), Davren is looking for partners in the turf & ornamental market to develop a SAS-based solution for RIFA control that circumvents the major challenges of using toxic conventional chemicals in sensitive environments such as playgrounds, parks and golf courses.