Neubrandenburg/Greifswald (dpa/mv) – According to the responsible institutions, researchers from Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania have succeeded in laboratory tests in removing 99 percent of grain weevils from stored grain using an air plasma. The method is now to be tested in practice in Neubrandenburg, as the Neubrandenburg University of Applied Sciences and the Leibniz Institute for Plasma Research and Technology (INP) Greifswald announced on Tuesday. Grain weevils caused millions in damage to stored grain worldwide.

During their research, the scientists developed a conveyor belt with a plasma device and a three meter high silo, where the plasma air can also flow around the grain, over a period of one and a half years. This is now to be tested over several months under practical conditions at the technology center in Neubrandenburg. This can also greatly reduce fungal infestation.

The two institutions work together as part of the “Physics for food – a region is rethinking” project. With the help of such new methods, the use of pesticides should also be reduced and the grain harvest optimized. The business partner is the port of Vierow near Greifswald. In extreme cases, grain weevils could cause a total loss of the harvest, as they eat their way through the grain husk and lay their eggs in the grain, so that masses of offspring grow up.