(Posted Tue. Dec 9th, 2014)

For the fourth year, the Aflatoxin Mitigation Center of Excellence Research Program has awarded nine grants to researchers for projects focused on solving aflatoxin issues. These grants were designed by Southern corn checkoff boards to bring a unified approach to funding research projects across the region, and will thus favor research teams that include members from multiple states.


“For 2015, we received applications from a number of well-qualified parties, including many for ongoing research AMCOE funded in the past,” said AMCOE Chair Charles Ring, a corn grower in Texas. “The projects selected will certainly help provide real-world tools with which growers can combat aflatoxin issues. AMCOE and its affiliate states, working with the National Corn Growers Association, bring a unified approach to aflatoxin research that will yield results in a timely and more efficient manner. Working together, we can improve the tools available for aflatoxin control and get real results that farmers can see in their fields.”


The principal investigators awarded grants for 2015 come from a variety of academic institutions including Louisiana State University, Mississippi State University, Purdue University, Texas A&M University, University of Arkansas, University of Georgia and Virginia Tech.  The full teams of AMCOE grant recipient projects represent more than 50 researchers from approximately 15 universities including Auburn University, Iowa State University, North Carolina State University, Penn State University, Tuskegee University and the University of Arizona. USDA Agricultural Research sites in Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and North Carolina, as well as Texas State Chemists Lab, all also have researchers involved with grant-recipient projects.


Projects funded for 2015 focus on one of these seven priority areas: biological control, especially atoxigenic strain development; deployment technology and increased utilization; transgenic modification for improved aflatoxin resistance and breeding for aflatoxin resistance; amelioration technology for aflatoxin-contaminated grain; best management strategies for reducing aflatoxin; improved testing procedures; and improved information transfer.


While corn farmers in Southern states experience aflatoxin challenges every year, these challenges may present themselves in any corn region of the United States when the crop comes under stress.  Thus, the benefits of such research, particularly as outlined in the seven priority areas, are truly national in scope.


For more information about AMCOE, click here.