Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: January 26, 2009
Publication Date: February 5, 2009
Citation: Dowd, P.F. 2009. Mycotoxin Management Studies by USDA-"Ag Lab" in 2008 [Abstract]. Central Illinois Irrigated Growers Association, Irrigation Clinic, Havana, IL. Technical Abstract: Studies again included several popcorn fields in 2008, in order to continue gathering data for modification of the previously developed management strategies for mycotoxins in field corn (the mycotoxin predictive computer program). Weather conditions were generally good for growing corn, but excess rainfall may have contributed to greater levels than normal of Fusarium-molded corn where insect damage occurred in ears. Earlier planted corn escaped most European corn borer damage in ears, as has been noted in the past. No stink bugs were captured in traps, although they were noted in fields. Western bean cutworm moths were found in traps at all locations, but were not seen as caterpillars in mild stage ears. However, damage characteristic of these caterpillars was found in harvest stage ears at several locations. In contrast to last year's ears that were damaged at the tips by Western bean cutworms, this year the damage was found predominately on the side of ears, suggesting they had not yet entered ears from the side when milk-stage ears were sampled. Corn earworms heavily damaged ears in some fields, but were oddly colored (brownish) compared to the colors that are usually seen early in the season. These oddly colored corn earworms may have come from populations that migrated north from the Southern U.S. Some fields also had significant stink bug damage and sap beetle damage in hybrids where husks did not cover tips well. No visible Aspergillus flavus (the mold that makes aflatoxin) was found. Most insect-damaged kernels were visibly molded by Fusarium (or in some cases Penicillium) which is not often seen. Mycotoxin analysis results have not been received yet. A version of the mycotoxin-predicting computer program is now on a website that will be password-accessible. Further information will be forthcoming on how to obtain a password. Plans for this year are to again monitor popcorn and some field corn as in the past for insect damage, molds, and mycotoxin levels. Trap monitoring for corn earworms, European corn borers, and Western bean cutworms will again occur.