Dealing with Moldy Grain

If low levels of ear rot are observed in a field, affected areas should be harvested early and grain segregated to avoid mycotoxin contamination of non-infected grain. If high levels of ear rot are observed, have your samples tested for mycotoxins. If mycotoxin levels are high, contact your crop insurance provider and consider mowing the field down without harvesting it to avoid contaminating your trucks, bins, and other equipment. Grain harvested with suspected ear rots should be dried to below 15% moisture. If grain or silage (with kernels present) is kept above this moisture content, mycotoxin can continue to accumulate in grain. All grain contaminated by any ear rot fungus should be stored separately from good grain, and if stored long term, stored below 13% moisture to prevent further growth of fungi.

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Mycotoxins are at higher levels in fines and foreign material in grain and it is possible to screen or clean grain to remove these smaller particles containing mycotoxins. Coring bins can also help reduce mycotoxins if affected grain accumulates in this area. None of these practices remove mycotoxins within the grain, but allow the removal of kernels most affected by mycotoxins.

For more information on storing and handling contaminated grain visit these sites:

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