The July 31, 2012 issue of the Integrated Pest & Crop Management Newsletter contained an article entitled “Drought May Result in Aflatoxin Contaminated Corn”. In this article Dr. Wrather explained why aflatoxin might be a problem in this year’s corn crop and offered some harvest and storage strategies which might minimize contamination. He also referenced the MU Guide G4155, “Aflatoxins in Corn” which contains more detailed information concerning Aspergillus flavus, aflatoxin, FDA levels for corn used for food and feed, testing procedures and handling procedures (http://extension.missouri.edu/p/G4155).
Since Dr. Wrather’s article appeared in the IPCM Newsletter, there have been a number of questions related to crop insurance and claims related to aflatoxin in this year’s corn crop. If aflatoxin is suspected and the grower has crop insurance, the crop insurance agent should be contacted immediately, i.e. prior to harvest. The crop insurance agent should be able to give directions on how to proceed in establishing if aflatoxin is a problem in the field and the process to document damage and initiate claims. But this needs to be done before the crop is harvested. The Risk Management Agency’s web site has additional information on this at http://www.rma.usda.gov/fields/ks_rso/2012/aflatoxintesting.pdf
REVISED: September 30, 2013