Weather conditions have made the fungus aflatoxin a threat to this year’s corn crop. Brian D. Frieden, director of USDA’s Risk Management Agency’s Springfield Regional Office, offers reminders for producers with crop insurance.
If you think your corn has aflatoxin, notify your crop insurance agent before you harvest the grain, put the grain in storage; or deliver it for sale. Your insurance provider will take samples for testing and submit them to an approved testing facility. Depending on the aflatoxin level present, the corn price may be discounted or, in rare cases, the grain will need to be destroyed.
Aflatoxin levels can increase in storage. Therefore, losses are only insurable if the grain is tested at an approved testing facility before being moved into commercial or on-farm storage. A producer may also make arrangements with their insurance provider to leave representative sample areas of the unharvested crop. The adjuster will take samples from these areas for aflatoxin testing. Producers cannot collect their own samples. Samples must be collected by their insurance provider or a disinterested third party, such as an approved elevator.
A list of approved testing facilities can be found on the USDA’s Risk Management Agency website.
Frieden urges all producers to contact their insurance agent with any questions concerning aflatoxin. Your crop insurance agent can provide you with additional information specific to your needs.