MARCH 6-9, 2016 ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA
The 12th Fumigants & Pheromones Conference was held March 6-9, 2016 in the festival city of Adelaide, South Australia. From 26 countries 180 people attended this biennial conference on stored product protection. Dave Mueller, president of Insects Limited and conference organizer stated: “This was the best yet. The world class speakers, new Adelaide Conference Center, very special dinner at the Adelaide Oval, record number of sponsors, local host organizers, ‘The Legend’ speaker, and the warm weather made this conference the best since 1993 when the first conference was held in Lübeck, Germany.”
This was the first time this conference was held in Australia. Simon and Sue Ball of Australian Fumigation in Adelaide were the local organizers. Barbara Bass, Peggy Rutkowski, and Lisa Orbaugh of Insects Limited organized many elements of this conference from their offices in Westfield. Speakers included Nayak, Mueller, Corrigan, Baributsa, Ryan, Lombardi, Ball, Emery, Fields, Daglisch, Self, Schlipalius, Waggoner, Thoms, and Simmons. In addition, research posters, “What’s New” sessions from manufacturers, and industry displays were part of the program.
Australia is an island continent located about 30 hours from Europe and 20 hours from North America by airplane. Many past participants in the Fumigants & Pheromones conferences found it difficult to travel this long distance to attend. But the Australians, who live far away from European and North American conferences, were excited to have this conference in their country. Adelaide 2016 was attended by 105 Australians. They came from Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney, Adelaide and places in between; and there is a lot of “in between” in Australia. Australian conference attendees represented the federal government agencies, the grain traders, pheromone distributors, fumigation companies, food companies, universities, fumigant scrubber companies, federal stored product research organizations, bin sealing companies, and export grain terminals.
Grain is a major export for Australia. They continue to pride themselves on producing and shipping quality grain throughout the world. The government of Australia is so focused on exporting quality grain products that they have enacted a grain standard law that doesn’t tolerate insects in their export grain. Considering that Australia is a warm country with the ideal conditions for pest insect growth and development, ‘Nil Tolerance’ is a challenge. Canada has such high standards for their export grain; however, the cold winters make this easier to achieve. The Australians often fumigate their grain with phosphine every 120 days while in storage. This would be similar to the Oklahoma area in the United States that fumigates wheat, on average, three times a year.
180 participants from 26 countries attended this three day conference and workshop on stored product protection
Because of the heavy dependence on phosphine fumigants for protecting grain while in storage, the Australian researchers lead the world in understanding and detecting the presence and absence of genetically linked phosphine fumigant resistance. Dr. Manoj Nayak of DAFF in Queensland led off the conference with an explanation of how his lab in Brisbane searches for phosphine resistance and ways to manage this serious challenge.
Rodents received attention from favorites Dr. Bobby Corrigan and Dr. John Simmons. Dr. Corrigan presented some of his training from his New York City Rodent Academy and Dr. Simmons directed his comments toward rodent management in food facilities in Europe.
In all, there were 21 presenters in the first two days. The evaluation sheets gave the speakers high ratings. One evaluation sheet stated: “What we enjoyed most about this conference was the range of speakers and attendees available to talk to. This has been an excellent opportunity to meet people from this industry and share so much knowledge from their expertise.” One person mentioned: “I liked the interaction with others and understanding how things are done in different countries.”
The Gala Dinner sponsored by Douglas Products was very enjoyable and entertaining. The food was delicious, the atmosphere and view over the famous Adelaide Cricket Stadium was impressive, and famous former Test Cricketer for Australia, Wayne Phillips, “The Legend,” told hilarious stories. However, the best part of the evening was the traditional singing contest from the various countries. The massive Australian contingent sang “Waltzing Matilde” while their American counterparts sang: “Home, Home on the Range.” But the winner of the coveted mini-cricket bat (signed by ‘The Legend’) went to Zimbabwe. Zane Accutt, Delport Tobacco of Harare, brought down the house with his tribal hymn from his native country.
Most of the presentations were practical in nature. Mueller, Kelley, Van Ryckeghem, and Daglisch offered pheromone topics: The Practical Use of Pheromones, The Practical Use of Beetle Traps, and Mating Disruption for Indian meal moth (Plodia interpuncella) in food warehouses and The Practical Use of Pheromones in Australia.
At the end of the conference, Dave Mueller announced the location of the 13th Fumigants & Pheromones Conference — ‘Back home again in Indiana’.