15 April 2022, Pennsylvania: Education and planning are a critical part of any fumigation management practice. During the recent meeting of the Grain Elevator and Processing Society (GEAPS), Todd Wilhelm, UPL Environmental Solutions Regional Manager, presented an education session for attendees on how to create an effective fumigation management plan for stored commodities.
“Fumigation planning requires more planning and advanced preparation than many people think. Certified fumigation applicators are required by the product label to create a fumigation management plan,” Wilhelm told audience attendees. “It’s also important to include state, county and local authority requirements into each management plan.”
UPL’s Environmental Solutions business provides innovative technologies for the aquatics, fumigants and specialty markets. Its fumigation technology is designed to reduce food and fiber loss caused by pests, and improper storage practice. Wilhelm leads many trainings for customers of UPL’s Environmental Solutions business. One of the biggest challenges he sees is communication between all aspects of processing facilities, employees and local and state authorities.
“Fumigation planning not only notifies personnel in writing about the fumigation activity, but it also ensures emergency procedures are identified and followed. Notifying all parties, including local first responders, is a critical step in making sure fumigation procedures are conducted in a safe manner,” he says. “Also, communication with the facility managers and employees is important. Any changes in the facility, such as new construction or a change in equipment, needs to be reflected in the management plan.”
Different types of facilities might require additional sealing procedures, Wilhelm told attendees. For example, grain bins might require different sealing procedures than pallets of materials in storage sheds. Changes in temperature and humidity can also affect fumigation outcomes, reinforcing the need to proper monitoring prior to and during fumigation procedures.