Resistance here, resistance there, resistance everywhere! – a dispute about phosphine and its use in the light of best management practice


Abstract: Protection of durable agricultural commodities during storage has become more
important, due to the market value increase of certain products, such as grains, which are critical for global food security. Phosphine plays a key role in this procedure, as it is long used as a major insecticide in stored product protection and proved to be an effective and viable control method. Nevertheless, the number of cases of altered susceptibility to phosphine in insect populations from different parts of the world has been drastically increased during the last two decades, especially in Australia, Asia and North America. This phenomenon requires the utilization of phosphine under carefully planned protocols, which consider the possible
occurrence of resistant populations, but also better management practices in the phosphine use. A series of recent publications clearly illustrated that if a better management is used during fumigations, insect mortality can be high, regardless of the resistance level of the target populations. In this work we underline the importance of these practices for successful
fumigations in different types of structures and application scenarios. By looking at latest
publications and new data gained in real world trials with insects of different susceptibility
towards phosphine, listening to customers, and facing regulatory issues, the area of conflict is
increasing. Based on our results the use of phosphine for the protection of durable agriculture
commodities is still a reliable treatment option.

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