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Sorbic Acid as a Long-term Protectant in Stored Corn

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Sorbic acid (2,4-hexadienoic acid) was tested as a protectant for field corn, Zea mays L., stored 15 months in 3.5-m3 (100 bu) bins in Minnesota. Sitophilus oryzae (L.), Tribolium confusum Jacquelin du Val, and Cryptolestes pusillus (Schoenherr) were added after bins were filled. Populations of Plodia interpunctella (Hübner), Typhea stercorea (L.), and Ahasverus advena (Waltl) developed in the bins during the study. Sorbic acid effectively controlled most storage pests for up to 1 year. Laboratory bioassays showed that sorbic acid was still effective against S. oryzae and T. confusum on corn 15 months after treatment. Bin sampling showed that insect numbers in bins treated with sorbic acid were significantly lower than in untreated bins at 9 months. Probe traps and aerial pheromone traps detected few insects in the sorbic acid bins until 15 months after treatment, when populations of P. interpunctella, T. stercorea, and A. advena increased rapidly to levels higher than those of the controls. Sorbic acid significantly reduced insect damage until 15 months after treatment. Visible mold was significantly lower in the sorbic acid-treated bins than in untreated bins at 15 months. Sorbic acid residues tended to concentrate in the bin core. Germination was unaffected by sorbic acid for the first 3 months but appeared to be slightly lower in treated bins than in controls after 15 months. Predator and parasite population patterns differed in treated versus untreated bins.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 1986

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  • Journal of Economic Entomology is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December. The journal publishes articles on the economic significance of insects and is divided into the following sections: apiculture & social insects; arthropods in relation to plant disease; forum; insecticide resistance and resistance management; ecotoxicology; biological and microbial control; ecology and behavior; sampling and biostatistics; household and structural insects; medical entomology; molecular entomology; veterinary entomology; forest entomology; horticultural entomology; field and forage crops, and small grains; stored-product; commodity treatment and quarantine entomology; and plant resistance. In addition to research papers, Journal of Economic Entomology publishes Letters to the Editor, interpretive articles in a Forum section, Short Communications, Rapid Communications, and Book Reviews.
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