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European Maize 2021: Extreme weather events during silking increase risk for deoxynivalenol in central Europe.

Results of statistical analysis reveal that many parts of Europe can expect potentially harmful levels of mycotoxin contamination in the upcoming 2021 harvest. Harvests in southern European countries have an average of 46% risk to contain more than 500 ppb fumonisins. The risk for harvests to contain more than 150 ppb deoxynivalenol is 63% and 62%, for central and eastern European countries, respectively.

Follow our predictions on mycotoxin contamination levels in the upcoming European maize harvest.

Mycotoxin Prediction for Corn and Wheat in Europe

Watch our Prediction Update for week 33 discussing the weather for July and August and related risk to maize crops in growing regions.

Silking of maize is the most critical time in plant development for infection with pathogenic fungi including Fusarium verticilloides, which produces fumonisins, or Fusarium graminearum, which produces deoxynivalenol and zearalenone. Wet weather increases the infection risk for either pathogen, but F. verticilloides favors higher temperatures, whereas F. graminearum proliferates under cooler conditions. Toxins accumulate in the maturing cobs depending on a variety of factors including climate conditions.

Weather and mycotoxin forecast for southern Europe

Crops started flowering in late June/early July with the most advanced crop growing in coastal regions of Spain, southern Italy and Greece. Occasional rain hit inland regions in the last weeks of June, but coastlines of Italy and Greece stayed dry. In July, weather in Mediterranean countries was characterized by soaring temperatures and very little – if any – rain, which was restricted to northern Italy, inland Balkan states and the Black Sea coastline in Turkey. The last half of the month brought little relief with very similar weather, exposing crops to continued drought and heat stress in southern areas (see rain map for late June). Consequently, high risk for fumonisins is predicted for areas that have received some rain in this period including coastal growing areas in Spain, northern Italy and Serbia up to Hungary. Risk for deoxynivalenol is higher in more temperate regions northern and inland regions of Italy, the Balkan states and the Black Sea coastline of Turkey. 

Weather and mycotoxin forecast for central Europe

Maize in eastern-central Europe is starting to silk in early July and extending west to the Atlantic coast within several weeks’ time. Heavy rainfalls across the United Kingdom, Benelux and Germany caused extensive flooding these regions, extending to Austria and further. There was abundant rain from France to Poland, with more rain in France by the start of the month and continued rainfall in eastern Germany and Poland towards the end of the month and into August. Romania and Bulgaria received comparably little rain. The predicted risk for deoxynivalenol is only moderate in these regions but high in a large area stretching from Belgium to Hungary. Despite little rainfall, increased risk for deoxynivalanol in some regions but only low to moderate risk for fumonisins are predicted for the upcoming maize harvests.

Risk above threshold

Afla (2 ppb)

FUM (500 ppb)

DON (150 ppb)

ZEN (50 ppb)

Central (France to Bulgaria)





North (UK and Denmark)






South (Spain to Turkey)





East (Belarus, Russia and Ukraine)





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.

How does prediction work?

Mycotoxin prediction models provide forecasts on expected mycotoxin levels in the upcoming harvest. In order to provide accurate predictions, weather conditions during various growing stages need to be considered, and there needs to be an understanding of how these weather conditions impact mycotoxin development in the crop.

more about the BIOMIN Mycotoxin Prediction Tool