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Missouri corn alert - monitor aflatoxin and fumonisin levels
Missouri Ag Connection - 02/12/2024

The Missouri Department of Agriculture (MDA) urges farmers and producers to be cautious of potentially high aflatoxin and fumonisin levels in corn harvested in 2023 due to prolonged drought conditions. These mycotoxins can harm livestock if ingested in high quantities.

The MDA's annual Corn Survey revealed increased mycotoxin levels in Missouri corn, prompting the advisory. The survey, conducted through the Bureau of Feed & Seed, collects samples from across the state and analyzes them for various factors.

The specific concern lies with fumonisin, which can reach high levels after hot, dry periods followed by high humidity – a scenario experienced in many parts of Missouri in 2023. While horses and rabbits are particularly sensitive, all livestock are susceptible to the negative effects of fumonisin.

Symptoms of fumonisin poisoning in animals can include neurological issues like confusion, incoordination, and facial twitching. In severe cases, it can lead to "moldy corn poisoning" and damage the brain.

If you suspect your livestock may have consumed contaminated corn, it's crucial to contact your veterinarian immediately. Additionally, the University of Missouri Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory offers feed testing services.

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