News 1 commentlast update:14 Jan 2016

Drought caused increase in US corn contamination

Many US states have experienced an increase in corn contamination in the 2012 harvest compared to 2011. In Missouri more than 50% of the corn harvested by October was contaminated by Aspergillus Flavus mould compared to 8% in 2011.

Drought conditions don’t cause the mould, but they do help speed its expansion. “It's really a climate variable issue,” says Barbara Stinson, founding and senior partner of Meridian Institute, a public policy organization. “We're probably looking at an increase in aflatoxin as a result of that.”

Last year’s drought increased the spread of the mould aspergillus (Aspergillus flavus), a fungal pathogen that poisons cattle, kills pets and has infected the 2012 corn crop, rendering significant portions of the harvest unfit for consumption.

“We have a big aflatoxin problem,” says Charles Woloshuk, a botanist and plant pathologist at Purdue University. “There are loads of corn coming to the [grain] elevators that have been rejected.”

In general the US agricultural industry suffers yearly losses of more than US$190 million due to aspergillus.


Source: Scientific American


One comment

  • Dr.VJS Sidhaye

    Poultry and dairy farmers all over the world must be alert regarding feeding of their poultry/livestock by using imported maize from USA. Rejected maize will be dumped in by so many I/E agents. Feed millers specifically from India should take note of it. P/L farmers should start using top quality toxin binders in their formulatins before aflatoxines set in the digestive track of P/L, the concentration of these various toxins would be on highre side.There would be a unbearable loss in export market--don't wait for the bad effects of these toxines. A caution has been raised regarding the maize crop of 2012.
    Dr.Sidhaye ( Veterinary Nutritionist) Pune.

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