Researchers Seek Ways to Keep Pathogens, Pests from Traveling with Grain


by Brad Buck, University of Florida 

A University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences faculty member says new research can help grain handlers and grain inspectors find key locations for pathogens and pests along rail routes in the United States and Australia.

Researchers examined important locations, including hubs that are linked to many other locations and bridges that link separate parts of the network together, Garrett said. The analysis also revealed differences between U.S. and Australian systems.

The central U.S. is a major wheat-producing area, and wheat can move in multiple directions toward processing centers or American ports for export. In Australia, wheat production tends to move more directly toward the coast for export, and as a result, the internal system is simpler and in some ways easier to manage for pests, Garrett said.

UF/IFAS researchers are applying this type of network analysis to other post-harvest networks and crop epidemics so they can identify key locations for detecting and managing the spread of pests and pathogens.

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Source:  Ag Professional



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