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Risk for Fusarium Toxins in European 2021 Maize | Week 42 Mycotoxin Prediction

A dry late September and early October has reduced the overall risk for some regions, yet overall risk remains high. Corn (maize) harvests in Southern European countries have, on average, a 50% risk of containing more than 500 parts per billion (ppb) of fumonisins. The that harvests contain more than 150 ppb deoxynivalenol is 60% and 61% for Central and Eastern European countries, respectively.

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

Mycotoxin Prediction for Corn and Wheat in Europe

Watch our Prediction Update for week 42, discussing the weather for September and October and related risk for 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. In addition, extreme weather events may put further stress on the plant making it easier for the pathogen to proliferate and, in turn, produce higher amounts of mycotoxins.

By the end of August, crops in Eastern Europe and Southeastern Europe had reached maturity, followed by maize in Spain, Italy, the Balkan States and Hungary a few weeks later. Throughout September and into October crops progressed through grain filling and ripening in the last growing regions in Northwestern Europe. Silage harvests also began earlier.

Weather and mycotoxin forecast for Southern Europe

Heat waves and drought characterized the weather in July and it stayed dry for most of the regions until the second half of August, where two to six days of rain were recorded in the Balkan states, Italy and parts of Spain. In early September rain patterns shifted. More rain was recorded in the Southwest with up to six days of rain in Portugal and Spain. Sicily, Sardinia and Greece saw rain as well, while the Balkan states and Bulgaria stayed dry. In the last half of September, rain returned to the Balkan states and persistent rain continued and is forecast throughout October.

High risk for fumonisins is predicted for in Spain, Northern Italy and Serbia up to Hungary. Risk for deoxynivalenol is higher in more temperate regions in Northern and inland regions of Italy, the Balkan states and the Black Sea coastline of Turkey.

Weather and mycotoxin forecast for Central and Eastern Europe

Late August saw abundant rain in Central and Northern Europe, extending the wet weather some regions had experienced throughout July. The first half of September was, in contrast, very dry with high average daytime temperatures of 17 to 20 °C but five to seven days of rain returned in the second half of the month for most of the continent. The North of France up to Denmark has been the exception, with only two or three days of rain. So far October has been dry and warm with a maximum of four days of rain in a 16-day period throughout most of Central and Western Europe (see map). More rain is forecast for the remaining month.

Because of the wet conditions during flowering, the predicted risk for deoxynivalenol and zearalenone is estimated to be very high. Extreme weather events may have further increased the calculated risk. Yet for some growing regions dry weather during September/October did decrease the initially projected high risks.

Days with rain events between October 1st and 16th
Days with rain events between October 1st and 16th

Risk above threshold

(2 ppb)

(500 ppb)

(150 ppb)

(50 ppb)

Central Europe





Northern Europe






Southern Europe





Eastern Europe





Afla - Aflatoxins, FUM - Fumonisins, DON- Deoxynivalenol, ZEN - Zearalenone

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