WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Linda Mason, a Purdue University entomologist who studies insects in stored grain and food, just couldn't convince commercial grain handlers to let her use their grain bins for her research.
"Understandably, nobody liked the idea of me adding insects to their grain bins and then monitoring the results," Mason says.
Consequently, much of her research had been conducted in a laboratory using 55-gallon drums filled with grain and insects to mimic pest problems encountered in real agricultural situations.
Dirk Maier, a Purdue agricultural and biological engineer specializing in grain handling, storage and processing, had the same problem. "We needed a place where we could conduct state-of-the-art research without worrying about contaminating someone else's grain," he says.
As early as 1992, Mason and Maier began traveling to Australia, Cyprus, Germany and even Kansas and Oklahoma to gather ideas that would help them build the finest grain handling research facility in the world.
In 1993, they asked Charles Woloshuk (a Purdue botany and plant pathology specialist in feed and grain mycotoxins) to join their team and examine problems caused by molds in stored grain.
The collaboration produced a unique three-pronged research team attacking grain storage problems with the help of a new education and research center at Purdue.
The Post-Harvest Education and Research Center at Purdue's Agronomy Research Center includes 16 500-bushel-capacity mini-bins filled for the first time last fall with corn produced specifically for the team's research projects.
Three years of fund-raising (about $100,000) and gift soliciting ($100,000
worth of equipment from private industry), have made the first phase of the Post
Harvest Education and Research Center a reality. CTB Brock Bins donated the
mini-bins. Farm Fans of Indianapolis contributed a new continuous flow dryer.
Other companies provided fa
Contact: Tom Campbell