[The Southeast region includes: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia.]
This region is most likely to experience problems with Aspergillus and Fusarium ear rots and their resulting mycotoxins.
Southeast ear rot management recommendations are as follows:
- Plant hybrids that are tolerant to a broad range of environmental stresses. Bt-hybrids that are resistant to insect feeding can help prevent damage from Fusarium and Aspergillus ear rots.
- Reduce plant stress through irrigation, insect control, and proper fertilization to reduce the chance of aflatoxin.
- Application of the non-aflatoxin producing (atoxigenic) strains of biological control (such as “Afla-Guard or AF-36) at V10 can help reduce aflatoxin levels in high-risk situations.
- Fungicides are generally not recommended for ear rot and mycotoxin management.
- Fields with ear rots should be harvested early and grain dried to below 15% moisture to prevent additional mold and mycotoxin accumulation.
- Adjust the combine to discard lightweight or damaged kernels which may contain mold or mycotoxin.
- Segregate grain from moldy fields and store appropriately. Check bins periodically to make sure moisture has not increased during storage.
For more information of mycotoxin producing ear rots in the Southeastern states, see http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/pp/notes/Corn/corn001.htm