Manual sampling of insects in stored grain is a laborious and time-consuming process. Automation of grain sampling should help to increase the adoption of stored grain integrated pest management. A new commercial electronic grain probe trap (OPI Insector) has recently been marketed. We field tested OPI Insector electronic grain probes in two bins, each containing 32.6 tonnes of wheat, Triticum aestivum L., over a 2-yr period. We developed new statistical models to convert Insector catch into insects per kilogram. We compared grain sample estimates of insect density (insects per kilogram of wheat) taken near each Insector to the model-predicted insect density by using Insector counts. An existing expert system, Stored Grain Advisor Pro, was modified to automatically read the Insector database and use the appropriate model to estimate Cryptolestes ferrugineus (Stephens), Rhyzopertha dominica (F.), and Tribolium castaneum (Herbst) density from trap catch counts. Management decisions using Insector trap-catch estimates for insect density were similar to those made using grain sample estimates of insect density for most sampling dates. However, because of the similarity in size of R. dominica and T. castaneum, the software was unable to differentiate counts between these two species. In the central and southern portions of the United States, where both species frequently occur, it may be necessary to determine the proportion of each species present in the grain by manual inspection of trap catch. The combination of SGA Pro with the OPI Insector system should prove to be a useful tool for automatic monitoring of insect pests in stored grain.
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Vol. 102 • No. 4