Rushville Republican

Agriculture

September 28, 2012

Farmers on the lookout for aflatoxin as drought continues

RUSHVILLE — WEST LAFAYETTE - The season-long drought and extreme heat have created conditions prime for Aspergillus ear rot to develop in corn, so growers should scout their fields and inspect their grain, a Purdue Extension plant pathologist says.

The fungus, which infects corn ears through the silks or wounds, produces aflatoxin, a toxic carcinogen that also can cause health problems for livestock that consume contaminated corn.

“Aspergillus ear rot is out there, but it varies greatly from field to field, mostly depending on planting time and environmental conditions at pollination,” Kiersten Wise said. “There is no field without some potential for the disease.”

Fields most at risk are those in which corn was planted in late March to early April, due to the high temperatures and drought stress that occurred when that corn was pollinating. Even if corn was planted later in April, it is still at risk if it was under extreme drought stress during pollination, planted in sandy soils or experienced insect and hail damage.

“Producers should scout fields prior to harvest and determine the level of incidence of the disease in the field,” Wise said.

The disease can be identified by its olive green, moldy growth on corn ears.

If growers suspect the disease, they can submit grain samples to Purdue’s Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory, for aflatoxin analysis. This lab routinely screens samples for aflatoxin.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture regulates how much aflatoxin can be in finished livestock feed and corn for human consumption. Regulations vary by species but are especially tight for consumption by humans and dairy cattle, at 20 parts per billion. Regulations for other species are:

100 ppb in corn grain for breeding cattle, swine and mature poultry.

200 ppb in corn grain intended for finishing swine of 100 pounds or greater.

300 ppb in corn grain intended for finishing beef cattle.

Grain elevators are likely to reject loads of corn that exceed government regulations, or they could penalize producers by docking the price.

“At this point in the season, there are no management strategies for reducing ear rots in fields that will remain for grain production,” Wise said. But she and several of her Purdue Extension colleagues teamed up to offer some strategies to help keep the aflatoxin issue from worsening:

Harvest corn as early as possible. Late-season rains can increase mold growth and aflatoxin levels.

Dry grain to less than 15 percent moisture. Make sure to dry grain promptly to keep aflatoxin problems from getting worse.

Remove fine material. Fines often contain higher toxin levels than the grain and can interfere with drying and aeration.

Clean equipment inside and out before and after use. Moldy or insect-infested kernels can contaminate next year’s crop.

A compilation of free Purdue Extension resources for managing moldy corn is available at http://www.purdue.edu/cornmold. Purdue Extension also teamed up with the Indiana Corn Marketing Council to produce the free publication “Managing Aspergillus Ear Rot and Aflatoxin.” The publication, ID-451-W, is available through the Education Store at http://www.extension.purdue.edu/store or by calling 888-EXT-INFO (888-398-4636).

 

1
Text Only
Agriculture
  • USDA reminds farmers of 2014 Farm Bill Conservation Compliance changes WASHINGTON - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today reminded producers that changes mandated through the 2014 Farm Bill require them to have on file a Highly Erodible Land Conservation and Wetland Conservation Certification (AD-1026). The Farm Bill

    July 25, 2014

  • Extension farm tour to feature organic vegetable production WEST LAFAYETTE - The organic vegetable production and fertility management practices at an Ohio farm will be showcased in a Purdue Extension tour of the operation near Cincinnati.The tour will be from 9 a.m. to noon Aug. 5 at EcOhio Farm, 2210 S. Mas

    July 18, 2014

  • ag-rv071814-soybean variety pic Gene discovery could lead to better soybean varieties for northern United States WEST LAFAYETTE – Researchers from Purdue University and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln have discovered a soybean gene whose mutation affects plant stem growth, a finding that could lead to the development of improved soybean cultivars for the nor

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • U.S. farmers plant record soybean crop, less corn DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The nation’s farmers planted the largest soybean crop on record this year by devoting millions of acres of land to the crop that had been used for growing corn, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said Monday.Farmers planted 84

    July 3, 2014

  • Manure Management Field Day presents new technology NORTH MANCHESTER — The Wabash County Soil & Water Conservation District and the Conservation Cropping Systems Initiative will host a free Manure Management Field Day on July 29th at Brubaker Farms. The half-day program will address application techno

    July 3, 2014

  • Purdue, OSU assisting in ag meeting for Corn Belt farmers WEST LAFAYETTE — Purdue and Ohio State Universities are part of an organization that is sponsoring a meeting this summer to help Corn Belt farmers make their agricultural systems more resilient and sustainable.The Resilient Agriculture Conference Au

    June 27, 2014

  • Farm Credit supports Rushville City FD training efforts RUSHVILLE — Farm Credit Mid-America, an agricultural lending cooperative serving farmers, rural residents and agribusinesses throughout Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee, contributed $500 to the Rushville City Fire Department. The funds were used

    June 27, 2014

  • ag-rv062714-problem weeds pic Latest weed control advances in corn, cotton COLLEGE STATION — The latest strategies in managing problem weeds in corn and cotton were recently showcased at the 2014 Crop Tour at the Texas A&M University field laboratory near College Station that serves as a research and teaching platform for T

    June 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Farm Credit salutes Rushville FFA graduating seniors RUSHVILLE — Farm Credit Mid-America, an agricultural lending cooperative serving farmers, rural residents and agribusinesses throughout Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee, contributed $500 to support the 2014 Rushville FFA banquet, themed “Legacy

    June 27, 2014

  • Purdue fruit, vegetable food safety course now offered online WEST LAFAYETTE - Purdue Extension is now offering in an online format a course covering food safety practices for fruit and vegetable growers.The course is based on a series of Good Agricultural Practices from A to Z workshops that were given in the

    June 20, 2014