North Carolina Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler is encouraging farmers to have their corn tested for aflatoxin to prevent contamination of feeds and food.
Aflatoxin is a by-product of the mold Aspergillus flavus, and can be harmful to both humans and livestock. “It’s worth a farmer’s time and effort to have their corn tested,” Troxler said.
Some farmers may need to have corn samples tested for crop insurance purposes. These samples must be submitted by an insurance adjuster to a grain marketing location certified by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The tests cost $22.20. Corn samples may also be graded at these locations.
Insurance adjusters should send a 5-pound sample of shelled corn by mail, UPS or FedEx to one of the following USDA-certified grain marketing locations:
Cargill Soybean Plant: Attn. Ben Honeycutt 1400 S. Blount St., Raleigh, N.C. 27601 (919) 733-4491
Grain Grading Office: Attn. Judy Grimes 407-G Griffin St., Elizabeth City, N.C. 27909 (252) 337-9782
Aflatoxin tests for feeding purposes are free and will be conducted at the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Constable Laboratory, 4000 Reedy Creek Road in Raleigh. This laboratory is not on the Risk Management Agency’s approved testing facility list. Therefore, results from this location will not be accepted for insurance claims.
Farmers may drop off 5-pound samples of shelled corn at the lab or at one of the following agricultural research stations:
• Border Belt Tobacco Research Station, 86 Border Belt Drive, Whiteville, (910) 648-4703; Lloyd Ransom, interim superintendent.
• Peanut Belt Tobacco Research Station, 112 Research Station Lane, Lewiston-Woodville, (252) 348-2213; Tommy Corbett, superintendent; station contact is Margaret Pierce.
• Tidewater Research Station, 207 Research Station Road, Plymouth, (252) 793-4118; Jewell Tetterton, superintendent.
• Lower Coastal Plain Tobacco/Cunningham Research Station, 200 Cunningham Road, Kinston, (252) 527-3579; Phillip Winslow, superintendent.
• Piedmont Research Station, 8350 Sherrills Ford Road, Salisbury, (704) 278-2624; Joe Hampton, superintendent.
• Mountain Horticultural Crops Research Station, 74 Research Drive, Fletcher, (828) 684-7197; Denny Thompson, superintendent.
Forms for submitting samples will be available at collection sites.
Samples also may be mailed directly to the lab at the following address: North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Food and Drug Protection Division 1070, Mail Service Center, Raleigh, N.C. 27699-1070
For additional information about the aflatoxin testing program, contact Jennifer Godwin or Michelle Gilliam at the NCDA&CS Food and Drug Protection Division, (919) 733-7366.