Degradation and insecticidal effectiveness of spinosad residues were evaluated in Kansas during November 2000 to November 2001 in farm bins holding wheat (34-metric ton capacity). About 50 kg of hard red winter wheat from each of three bins were brought to the laboratory and treated separately with 1-ml aqueous suspensions of spinosad to provide rates of 0.1, 0.5, 1, 3, 6 mg (AI)/kg of wheat. Wheat treated with distilled water served as the control treatment. Untreated and spinosad-treated wheat samples (250 g each) were placed in three plastic pouches of two different mesh sizes, and buried 2.5 cm below the grain surface. Pouches with large mesh openings were used to monitor insect infestations and kernel damage in untreated and spinosad-treated samples. Pouches with small mesh were used for extracting spinosad residues and for conducting laboratory bioassays with adults of the lesser grain borer, Rhyzopertha dominica (F.) and red flour beetle, Tribolium castaneum (Herbst) at 28°C and 65% RH. Wheat temperature and relative humidity near the pouches during the 1 yr of storage ranged from −10 to 32°C and 50 to 70%, respectively. Moisture of wheat samples varied from 12.4 to 13%. Observed spinosad residues on wheat samples were 25% less than the calculated rates of 0.1 to 6 mg/kg. However, these residues were stable during the 1 yr of storage, and killed all R. dominica adults exposed for 14 d in the laboratory. Mortality of T. castaneum adults increased with an increase in spinosad rate. The linear regression slope of LD50s (0.3–2.7 mg/kg) against storage time was not significantly different from zero, indicating no loss in spinosad toxicity to T. castaneum adults. Insect species, insect numbers, and kernel damage over time in wheat samples inside pouches with large mesh openings were highly inconsistent, and failed to accurately characterize spinosad performance. Laboratory bioassays with R. dominica and T. castaneum adults using grain from pouches with small mesh openings accurately gauged spinosad persistence and insecticidal activity under the field conditions.
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Vol. 95 • No. 5