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Little Word About Corn Ear Rots or Molds So Far

Little Word About Corn Ear Rots or Molds So Far

Crop Watch 2014: Grain quality coming out of fields this harvest is reportedly good.

Going into harvest, there was concern that ear rots might show up in the field. So far, there is little word that people are finding any significant problems with ear rots.

They're an issue because some cause molds on ears in the fields. Some also produce toxins. Gibberella produces vomitoxin, which can affect livestock, especially pigs. Often intake of the feed is affected, with feed refusal being common.

Crop Watch 10/27: Crop Watch Field Harvest Still in a Holding Pattern

Crop Watch 2014: Grain quality coming out of fields reportedly good.

No problems in the Crop Watch '14 have been noticed so far. The field is still awaiting harvest. It is standing well so far. In 2009 the mold issue was a big concern especially as harvest was delayed. While this season was similar in some respects, Bob Nielsen, Purdue University Extension corn specialist, says the corn crop matured ahead of the crop in 2009. Recent wet weather patterns, however, have caused some to return to the comparison of this season to 2009.

Klein Ileleji, Purdue grain quality Extension specialist, says the best advice is to dry grain as quickly as possible after harvest to stop any problems with molds that might be in corn kernels. If left at too high of a moisture content in storage, the molds can continue to grow. Instead, he recommends drying corn to 15% for final storage and to even lower levels if you anticipate storing corn for up to a year or longer. In that case, a maximum of 14% grain moisture is recommended in final storage.

Crop Watch 10/24: Moisture Difference Between Hybrids Could Affect Profitability

Harvest, dry and cool: The best policy is to dry corn as quickly as possible after harvest and then aerate it and cool it down, specialists say.

It's also important to cool the grain after drying and binning, he says. Take advantage of lower ambient air temperature during dry periods to aerate the grain. Make sure the cooling front moves through the entire pile of grain before you stop aerating. Cool grain that is dry is far less likely to develop mold problems.

TAGS: USDA
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