The global stored grain protectant market has been reported at US$ 550.52 in 2017; and expected to reach US$907 million by 2026, growing at a compound annual growth rate of 5.7%*.

A number of major product suppliers operating in this market including BASF, Bayer AG, Corteva, Central Life Sciences, Sumitomo Chemical, FMC Corporation, Arysta Lifescience, Syngenta, UPL Limited, Degesch and Neogen Corporation

Target pests include mainly insects (beetles, weevils, moths, mites) but also include rodents, birds & fungal species. Insecticide resistance is a major issue requiring integrated pest management strategies

The global market is focused in grain producing and consuming countries where grain is stored, transported and processed, thus the Americas, Europe, Middle East/Africa, Asia and Australia.

World grain production in 2019/20 is forecast to be 2.17 billion tonnes (including 1.1 billion tonnes of maize); with stocks at 599m tonnes**, all of which is at risk from grain storage pests.

Recent estimates suggest that between one quarter and one third of the global grain crop is lost each year during storage. A significant proportion of these losses are due to insect attack. Some of the major pest species capable of infesting stored grain include the lesser grain borer (Rhyzopertha dominica), the rice weevil (Sitophilus oryzae), the rust red flour beetle (Tribolium castaneum), the saw-toothed grain beetle (Oryzaephilus surinamensis) and the flat grain beetle (Cryptolestes ferrugineus).

The major impacts attributable to these pests are represented by physical losses that reduce the economic value of the crop or may make it unsuitable for human or animal consumption. As such many importers have imposed a strict “nil tolerance of insect” conditions for grain shipments. Insect pests also increase costs to grain growers both directly through the expense of control on the farm, and indirectly through the costs incurred by grain handling authorities in controlling pests in bulk storage environments. Insect damage also reduces germination of seed grain kept in storage for use in subsequent seasons.

Insects Limited have produced a time lapse video showing insects feeding on stored grains.  Here you can see rice weevils feeding on corn and lesser grain borers feeding on wheat over a 3 month period in a side-by-side comparison. During this time, the clean and sound grain kernels are turned to dust and empty husks.  Click here

Grain protectants are insecticides that are applied to uninfested grain to provide residual protection from insect pests of stored grain. Grain protectants have been used in many countries for several decades and resistance development to many commonly used protectants such as organophosphates, synthetic pyrethroids and insect growth regulators (IGRs) has been an issue for several species.

The development of new grain protectants is required to combat these resistance issues, and binary applications (combined treatments) have been recommended as a potential means by which this issue can be addressed.

In order to address this important market requirement Bio-Gene has been working in close collaboration with the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Queensland Government (DAF) since 2017 to develop Flavocide as a potential grain protectant.  To date results have been highly promising;

  • Combination treatments with Flavocide were shown to control the full spectrum of key pests evaluated, including strains with history of multiple resistance to currently used insecticides
  • Results indicate potential compatibility of Flavocide being used in combination with other compounds in resistance management strategies currently employed by the international grain protection industry where insects can cause up to 50% losses in untreated stored grain
  • Trial results confirmed that Flavocide successfully controlled a key grain storage pest over a thirteen-month period (9-month residual control is considered an industry standard)

Bio-Gene recently announced a collaboration of all key representatives aligned on a stored grain preest control trial.  Click here for more details.

The market opportunity for Flavocide in grain storage applications is substantial. Currently there is no single chemistry that controls all major pests that impact stored grain. The incidence of pest resistance is rising in Australia, and around the world. In some cases, losses of up to 70% of grain in storage have been attributed to these pests. Flavocide thus has the potential to developed and marketed in formulations that will enable control of the full range of pests including pests resistant to other classes of chemistry.