Neb., Iowa officials watch for contaminated corn

Ag/Outdoor, News

August 28th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) – Farmers, crop inspectors and grain elevators in Nebraska, Iowa and other corn-producing states are keeping an eye out for corn contaminated by a poison-producing fungus.  They’re watching for signs of aflatoxins. Experts say aflatoxins are chemicals produced by certain mold fungi and that at high levels aflatoxins are poisonous to humans and animals. They tend to show up during hot, dry summers.

Mark Fulmer of the Lincoln Inspection Service said that during the drought year of 2002, there was a high amount of aflatoxin in the state’s corn. Fulmer says of the corn samples his company has tested this summer, most show little or no contamination. But he says some of the corn has tested out at more than four times the federal threshold.