From fieldcropnews.com, co-authored with Albert Tenuta
The OMAFRA Field Crops team conducted its annual vomitoxin survey to assess the presence of corn ear mould and grain vomitoxin in the 2016 corn crop. Vomitoxins can be produced by Gibberella and Fusarium ear moulds and can be disruptive when fed to livestock, particularly hogs.
A total of 121 samples were collected from Southern to Eastern Ontario from September 23rd to 30th. In most cases, five consecutive ears were pulled from four random locations throughout a field. After recording pictures and rating ears for the presence of moulds and insect or bird feeding, samples were placed into driers as soon as possible after collection. Dry ears were shelled and mixed through a sample splitter, and delivered to SGS Agrifood Laboratories in Guelph for vomitoxin (DON) analysis.
Of the 121 samples collected:
- 48% (58) had a DON concentration of less than 0.5 ppm;
- 26% (31) had a DON concentration between 0.5 and 2.0 ppm;
- 26% (32) had a DON concentration of 2.0 ppm or greater
Visual mould symptoms were much more prevalent in the 2016 survey than what has been observed in recent years. Similarly, vomitoxin analysis revealed DON concentrations that were higher than surveys from the past couple of harvest seasons, with the most recent year of comparable results being 2011. These results suggest extra vigilance in monitoring and managing DON concentrations in corn may be required in 2016. While some samples with elevated levels of DON were present across most regions sampled, in general there appeared to be a greater incidence of elevated DON levels