Mycotoxin risks rise during heavy rain close to harvest

Rainfall during the later stages of growth in winter wheat crops is a crucial factor in raising the risk of mycotoxin in harvested grain says the Home Grown Cereals Authority (HGCA).

In a timely warning, issued in step with the weekend storms, HGCA urged growers to keep track of rainfall when making mycotoxin risk assessments.

“Significant rainfall in the final days before harvest can have a big impact on the final risk score,” said HGCA’s Dr Dhan Bhandari. “In summer, we can get localised storms with large quantities of rain in a short period of time. Because rainfall can be highly localised, it’s important to keep track of rainfall on a field by field basis to manage mycotoxin risk.

“When grain from different parts of a farm has different risk scores, it is important to keep it segregated if at all possible. In mixed lots, the highest risk score from any of the component parts should be used for the whole lot.”

Further details on managing mycotoxins, which can have severely negative effects on livestock health and productivity, are covered in HGCA’s harvest toolkit.

See: Managing mycotoxins – HGCA

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