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Harvest 2014

2014 - It seems like a broken record...weather changes have shifted expectations of new crop corn quality. Three weeks ago, somewhat wetter corn than normal but high quality was the forecast. It is clear that the wetter part will come true; early harvest moistures are generally coming in at 18 – 22 percent, which is above average but not high enough to cause severe complications in drying. Field dry down is probably nearly over so do not expect much change in moisture from here on. Overall quality has been put at risk however, in some areas.

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Mycotoxins in the Grain Market

Mycotoxins are poisonous trace organic residues of mold deterioration. Mycotoxins are not alive themselves, but instead are very potent compounds causing, at very low dosages (parts per million (ppm) or parts per billion (ppb)), a variety of human and animal health problems. Individual mycotoxins are produced by specific mold strains under more restrictive growth conditions than for the molds themselves. Mycotoxins are not automatically produced whenever grain becomes moldy. However, from a risk viewpoint, the likelihood of toxins is greater in damaged kernels than in sound kernels.

Although aflatoxin has received the majority of public attention, advances in chemical detection methods have identified several others that can create problems for grain users. All mycotoxins are present in non-uniformly distributed trace concentrations. Normal bulk sample quality detection methods are hard to use for trace levels. Trace toxics in general will present increasing difficulty for bulk grain handlers. 

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Spring 2019 Updates

Flooding and Stored Grain
Charles Hurburgh & Dan Loy  -March 20, 2019

The rapid snowmelt in Spring 2019 has caused instances of stored grain being covered with floodwater. By current Food and Drug Adminstration (FDA) policy, grain inundated by uncontrolled river or stream water is considered adulterated and must be destroyed.  The situation in 2019 is one of river water flooding rather than of rain-driven pooled water in low ground, for which there are salvage options.   As shown by the example of the inundated Omaha sewage treatment plant, river-based floodwaters can bring in many hazards and rapid spoilage. 

Flooding affects both the stored grain and the storage structures. Try to move the grain before the flood reaches the bin, but stop using underfloor conveyors and legs once the water starts entering the pits. Learn more...

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