Monitoring and maintaining grain quality is always a high priority for corn growers, the commercial grain storage industry and end users such as food processors and the ethanol industry. According to Ohio farmer Mark Drewes, grain quality monitoring is getting increased focus this year because of the unusual growing season. Drewes, who serves on the National Corn Growers Association's Ethanol Committee, says there will be plenty of high quality corn for all uses.
However, a wet growing season along with lower than normal temperatures has resulted in ideal conditions for the development of mycotoxins in corn. So far, reports of Mycotoxins damage have been spotty. Peter Thomison, a corn Extension Agronomist with Ohio State University, encourages farmers to - assess crop quality and implement an aggressive management plan for corn to be stored on farm through the winter. Thomison recommends additional - testing and monitoring.
Corn growers who are in one of the hot spots that are affected are encouraged to: dry corn to appropriate moisture level – 13 to 14% if it will be stored for a longer term; test rather than rely on a visual assessment; remove foreign material; monitor corn in storage regularly; and monitor corn and Distillers Dried Grains if they will be fed to livestock which are susceptible to certain mycotoxins.