August 29, 2001

Across Kentucky producers are delivering wheat to buyers. As this unloading begins many producers will notice that their wheat contains insects.

"Unfortunately discovering the insects when one is under pressure to deliver grain only compounds the problem," said Doug Johnson, University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service entomologist.

"Some producers in a rush to deliver their wheat will attempt to fumigate the grain on the truck while in transit to the buyer," he said. "This is dangerous and illegal."

It is permissible to fumigate a truck load of grain. A truck load of grain is treated just like any other flat storage. However, it is illegal to move the truck during fumigation and before it has been properly aerated.

Attempting to fumigate on a moving truck endangers the driver and passengers, drivers and passengers in other vehicles and those persons inspecting the grain at the point of delivery, Johnson said.

Many buyers will reject a load if they detect the presence of a fumigant during their inspection.

In addition, attempting to fumigate on a moving grain truck is likely to have a very poor result. Fumigants are easily moved by air currents, and are likely to be sucked from the truck bed by the least little air leak.

The best course is to monitor grain through the storage period and, if problems are found, to address them within the bin. If this is not practical then plan to fumigate on the truck bed allowing plenty of time to load the truck, fumigate, and aerate the grain, using all the standard precautions.

"Fumigants are very good at what they are designed to do if applied correctly," Johnson said. "They are, however, among the most toxic compounds a producer will ever handle. Don't endanger yourself and others by getting in a hurry."

Every fumigant available for use by producers has a detailed label and a use manual available with the product. Read and understand these documents before you ever try grain fumigation in any setting.


Doug Johnson (270) 365-7541