Mycotoxin Survey in US corn: April 2019 update

Our April update from the annual Biomin® PROcheck​​​​​​​ mycotoxin survey in corn harvested in 2018 includes 572 samples from 31 states. Of the sample pool 71% are corn samples (410 samples), 15% are corn silage (94 samples), and 14% are corn by-product (68). Below we discuss trends of each of these feed ingredients regarding mycotoxin prevalence and contamination levels. 

Corn

  • 98% of ground corn samples are positive for at least one mycotoxin, vs 89% in 2017
  • 72% of samples have more than one mycotoxin, vs 47% in 2017
  • Aflatoxin prevalence in dry corn increased to 10% vs 4% in 2017, with average contamination levels increasing over four fold.
  • Deoxynivalenol (vomitoxin) prevalence rose to 76% vs 70% in 2017, with average contamination level increasing by 44%
  • Fumonisin prevalence jumped to 79% vs 52% in 2017, with average contamination levels increasing by 45%
  • Zearalenone prevalence increased to 45% vs 25% in 2017, with average contamination levels remaining steady.

Corn By-Product

  • 96% of samples are positive for at least one mycotoxin, vs 100% in 2017
  • 90% of samples have more than one mycotoxin, vs 94% in 2017
  • Aflatoxin prevalence decreased to 1% vs. 9% in 2017, both years with similar and low contamination levels.
  • Deoxynivalenol (vomitoxin) prevalence decreased slightly to 94% vs 99% in 2017, with average contamination level increasing by 47%
  • Fumonisin prevalence is 88% vs 91% in 2017, with average contamination levels remaining steady.
  • Zearalenone prevalence is 84% vs 80% in 2017, with average contamination level nearly three-fold.

Corn Silage

  • 90% of samples are positive for at least one mycotoxin, vs 91% in 2017
  • 64% of samples have more than one mycotoxin, vs 30% in 2017, a drastic increase in co-contamination.
  • Aflatoxin prevalence is 1% with low average contamination levels.
  • Deoxynivalenol (vomitoxin) prevalence is remaining steady at 86% vs. 85% in 2017,  with average contamination level increasing by 78%
  • Fumonisin prevalence increased to 30% vs 12% in 2017, with average contamination levels increasing by 11%
  • Zearalenone prevalence jumped to 59% vs 26% in 2017, with average contamination level increasing 2.4 fold.

These contamination levels present MEDIUM to HIGH risk for all livestock and poultry species depending on toxin and feed ingredient type. Overall, producers in the Midwest should be on the lookout for the impacts from deoxynivalenol and zearalenone, while Southern states should be vigilant regarding fumonisin and aflatoxin contamination.