(Posted Tue. Dec 4th, 2012)

Dec. 4: Last week, the National Corn Growers Association’s Mycotoxin Task Force met in Houston, Texas to discuss questions concerning mycotoxin mitigation, testing methods and the task force structure moving forward. During these meetings, the task force moved to jointly fund a new project studying fumonisin research and to further explore the possibility of expanding consolidated aflatoxin testing methods currently used in Texas to other areas of the country.


“This year, growers across the country faced problems with mycotoxin previously common only to corn producing states in the South,” said MTF Chair Don Glenn, a farmer from Alabama. “The spread of these issues further emphasizes the importance of working to mitigate detrimental mold and fungus. NCGA has stepped forth, taking a leading role in this arena, to ensure that farmers across the nation have access to the best tools.”


The team began by exploring aflatoxin testing procedures currently used in Texas. United Agricultural Cooperative, Inc. General Manager Jimmy Ropollo explained the state’s One Sample Strategy for aflatoxin testing which allows participating grain elevators to use the results from a single test for both grading and for valuing an insured loss. After discussing the program’s benefits and possible flaws, the task force unanimously moved to further work on developing a nation-wide program of the same nature.


“Simplifying testing for aflatoxin makes sense for farmers,” Glenn explained. “Farmers do not benefit from cumbersome processes that require duplicate testing. It makes sense to ensure all growers have access to the most efficient processes possible.”


The team also decided to fund a new research project to be conducted by Texas Tech University. This study, “Enhanced Fumonisin Binding to Feed Additives by Phytate Removal or Precipitation in Corn,” will find ways to increase the value of affected corn while also ensuring livestock safety.


In casual discussion, team members reported that, while many experienced lower-than-average yields due to the drought, aflatoxin contamination was not as prevalent as expected.