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Mycotoxin Prediction for Corn and Wheat in Europe: 2020 Harvest | Week 34 Update

Results of statistical analysis reveal that many parts of Europe can expect potentially harmful levels of mycotoxin contamination in the upcoming 2020 corn (maize) and wheat harvest.

Follow our predictions on mycotoxin contamination levels in the upcoming European wheat and corn harvest.

Mycotoxin Prediction for Corn and Wheat in Europe

Dr Timothy Jenkins, Head of BIOMIN Digital Lab, shares the mycotoxin occurrence prediction for corn and wheat in Europe.

Above the risk thresholds

The percentage risks in the table are the likelihood that a crop in that region will be above the risk thresholds measured in parts per billion (ppb) for fumonisins (FUM), aflatoxins (Afla), deoxynivalenol (DON) and zearalenone (ZEN). The regions are quite large and it is important to note that risk levels could vary widely within each region. More regional details are contained in the regular video updates.

The percent chance of fumonisins (FUM), aflatoxins (Afla), deoxynivalenol (DON) and zearalenone (ZEN) exceeding certain concentration levels in European corn and wheat harvests.
Figure 1. The percent chance of fumonisins (FUM), aflatoxins (Afla), deoxynivalenol (DON) and zearalenone (ZEN) exceeding certain concentration levels in European corn and wheat harvests.
Source: BIOMIN

Weather Trends

July was the main month for corn silking or flowering for most of Europe and in many areas silking could continue into early and even late August. Rain during corn silking increases the establishment of mycotoxin-causing diseases in the corn cob.

Late August is forecast to have continuing high numbers of rain days in some of the same areas around the Alps, further into some Balkan countries and a moderate number of rain days in previously drier areas of Western and Central Europe. Scandinavia and the Balkan areas and parts of Eastern Europe are a bit drier than in early August, though most of Russia has forecast a moderate number of rain days, which places the area at an increased risk compared to earlier in the month.

Central European Corn 

At this stage the highest risk for corn in Central Europe is DON (at 91%) with a reasonably high predicted risk also for ZEN at 53%. The risk of Afla is mainly seen in parts of Romania and Hungary, both countries are included here in Central Europe. The heatwave conditions in some areas have increased the mycotoxin risk this year.

Eastern European Corn 

In Eastern Europe, DON is again the greatest risk in corn at 89% with a generally lower risk of ZEN than in Central Europe.

Northern European Corn 

For Northern Europe, mycotoxin levels in corn are characteristically lower but there is still a reasonable chance of DON being above the risk threshold. There is also some risk of the associated ZEN. A slightly drier than normal early July in some areas and a drier August so far have reduced the risk for DON and ZEN somewhat, but the FUM risk has increased with warmer than normal temperatures experienced this summer. Forecast rain in late August may be an issue particularly in later crops.

Southern European Corn 

DON is also the highest risk in Southern Europe, but FUM and Afla are higher risk compared to other regions. In some years, hot and dry conditions may increase the risk of Afla further in this area, and the forecast for late August shows warmer conditions in much of this region with particularly hot areas coastal areas.


Winter wheat anthesis is over and harvest is progressing in many areas of Europe. Much of the mycotoxin risk is related to the presence of wet conditions during anthesis, but there is also an important role of temperature (warmth encourages infection and growth of the fungus as well as the production of DON) and of rainfall towards harvest. Of particular concern for late August rainfall then are Ireland, parts of the UK and around the Netherlands.

The less common summer wheat crops will be at somewhat lower risk than winter wheat this year because of the drier conditions forecast during summer wheat anthesis, although there are now some concerns for the areas that received rainfall in late July onwards.

The highest DON risk is still predicted in Northern Europe. ZEN, although a somewhat lower risk than in corn, is still a risk in all regions with the highest risk predicted for Eastern and Northern Europe.

As mycotoxin predictions are based on statistical methods, BIOMIN neither gives any warranties with regard to the content, nor accepts any liabilities in connection with the predictions or its consequences, if any.

Consider mycotoxin risk in advance

Mycotoxin contamination threatens the quality of your feed, the health of your animals and your profitability.  

The Mycotoxin Prediction Tool uses sophisticated algorithms that draw upon 15 factors and the extensive proprietary data set compiled through the BIOMIN Mycotoxin Survey, the longest running and most comprehensive survey of mycotoxin occurrence in animal feed worldwide. 

The Mycotoxin Prediction Tool helps keep you naturally ahead in managing the risk of mycotoxins.  

How does prediction work?

The tool analyses data from a range of inputs to calculate a predicted mycotoxin contamination level for the next harvest. 

BIOMIN Mycotoxin Prediction Tool: How does prediction work