Process Management

News last update:6 Aug 2012

High mycotoxin levels in Indiana corn

In terms of mycotoxin levels, this year's Indiana corn crop is the worst in more than 10 years, according to a survey conducted by Purdue University. A striking observation this year was the number of samples containing Gibberella ear rot.

Every year, Purdue University conducts a survey of the US, Indiana corn crop just prior to harvest to determine whether ear rots and the associated mycotoxins are an issue for concern. This year, 316 samples from 70 counties were examined.

DON and fumonisin levels are a concern
A striking observation this year was the number of samples containing at least one ear with Gibberella ear rot. This was remarkable because the disease was seldom seen in the survey over the past 10 years. This year, the disease ranged from a few rows of kernels to about 25% of the ear. Samples from six counties were found to contain deoxynivalenol, also known as DON or vomitoxin, ranging from 0.5 to 8 parts per million (ppm).
These levels should be of greatest concern to the swine producer. Swine are more sensitive to DON than ruminant animals and poultry. Signs of DON mycotoxicoses in swine can include feed refusal, vomiting, diarrhea, and reduced feed consumption.

A second striking observation this year was the high concentrations of fumonisin. Samples from eight counties contained fumonisin B1 ranging from 0.7 to 174 ppm. Five of the samples contained greater than 18 ppm. These levels of fumonisin are well above the amounts that can cause leucoencephalomalacia in horses and severe effects in swine, such as pulmonary edema.

More information about ear rot diseases, mycotoxins, and grain storage can be found on the website from Purdue University.

More information on mycotoxins can be found in our article archive

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