Iowa State University Extension and Outreach

East-Central and Southeast Iowa Crop Information


On October 5, 2005, a group of nearly 100 producers, elevator operators, insurance agents, insurance adjusters, Risk Management Agency (RMA) managers, representatives of the Congressional delegation, and Iowa State University (ISU) staff met to identify issues interrupting the normal harvest routine due to aflatoxin and to recommend actions that could enhance harvest activity while being mutually beneficial to all the groups represented.


Issues (with similar ones grouped together) identified by the group were:

1.               Accurate testing

2.               Accurate sampling

3.               Need for flexibility in testing and sampling

4.               Costs incurred by producers for the aflatoxin testing

5.               Role of elevator in the sampling and testing process

6.               Insurance coverage in bins.

7.               Why can't corn go in the bin and still be covered in Iowa?

8.               Timely visit by adjuster

9.               Consistency among insurance companies

10.          Inconsistency in information

11.          Consistency in the field testing process

12.          Extreme variability within fields

13.          International implications for grain < 20 ppb aflatoxin

14.          Use of grain > 20 ppb aflatoxin in livestock feed

15.          What to do with truck loads of rejected corn

16.          Marketing high testing grain

17.          Variance for > 300 ppb grain by FDA

18.          Co-mingling grain

19.          Regulations after grain is at the elevator

20.          How to measure the yield for an LDP if the field is zeroed out because of aflatoxin

21.          Can corn be destroyed by leaving it in the field?

22.          Can processing destroy aflatoxin?

23.          This is beyond the control of producers

24.          Safety issues in working with this corn

Potential solutions suggested by the group were:

1.                 Allow harvest of corn and storage in bin with insurance coverage (would require Congressional action).  This should work in the northern states but not the southern because of winter temperatures and humidities.

2.                 Leave the claim open until delivery.  (This would be if solution #1 was enacted.)

3.                 Load by load testing at point of delivery (Again, this would be if solution #1 is enacted)

4.                 Develop better procedures for getting a representative sample.

5.                 Faster turn-around time for samples.

6.                 Better understanding of how to manage molds in bins.  (Probably an ISU responsibility)

7.                 Report adjusters who are slow to respond.

8.                 Use contaminated corn as a bio-fuel / energy source


After the meeting, the Congressional representatives, RMA staff, and ISU staff agreed to work independently and together to provide better information to producers, elevator operators, and insurance agencies and adjusters regarding various options for dealing with aflatoxin tainted grain.  Longer term, there will be work to improve the system through adjusting both the law and the rules.


If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the Iowa State University Extension Office.
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Last Update: October 7, 2005
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