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Watch Out for Corn Ear Molds



(NAFB)--This growing season’s weather has developed conditions favorable for classic corn ear molds - according to DuPont Pioneer experts - who warn the environment will become increasingly ideal for these molds if cooler temperatures and rainfall come as harvest begins. DuPont Pioneer Plant Pathology Research Fellow Bill Dolezal says growers with a history of molds should scout their fields carefully for ear molds - which reduce yield potential, grain quality and feed value. Dolezal says it’s important to identify molds and determine if mycotoxins are present when scouting. A mycotoxin screening should be conducted if mold presence is greater than 10-thousand cfu per gram. If 10-percent or more of the ears in the field have a significant amount of mold on more than 25-percent of the ear - they should be harvested as soon as possible at or above 20-percent moisture - then dried to 15-percent moisture or less - to prevent further growth and toxin development. Dolezal says the combine should be adjusted to minimize kernel damage and remove the highest kernels - as broken kernels are more likely to develop toxins. Proper grain drying and storage also is critical. Dry grain to less than 15-percent moisture and cool below 50-degrees as soon as possible after harvest. Before storing - clean the grain to remove any infected kerels, cobs and fines. 

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