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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Stoneville, Mississippi » Biological Control of Pests Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #309458

Title: Biological control of aflatoxin is effective and economical in Mississippi field trials

Author
item Weaver, Mark
item Abbas, Hamed
item FALCONER, LARRY - MISSISSIPPI STATE UNIVERSITY
item ALLEN, TOM - MISSISSIPPI STATE UNIVERSITY
item PRINGLE III, HORACE - MISSISSIPPI STATE UNIVERSITY
item SCIUMBATO, GABE - MISSISSIPPI STATE UNIVERSITY

Submitted to: Crop Protection
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/19/2014
Publication Date: 12/25/2014
Publication URL: http://handle.nal.usda.gov/10113/60731
Citation: Weaver, M.A., Abbas, H.K., Falconer, L.L., Allen, T.W., Pringle III, H.C., Sciumbato, G.L. 2014. Biological control of aflatoxin is effective and economical in Mississippi field trials. Crop Protection Journal. 69:52-55. doi.org/10.1016/j.cropro.2014.12.009.

Interpretive Summary: A field study was conducted to evaluate biological control of aflatoxin in corn. Aflatoxin was measured in grain samples from fourteen experimental and commercial fields in Mississippi for three years. Early season applications of the biocontrol products were most effective in preventing aflatoxin contamination. Even under modest aflatoxin levels encountered in this study, the early-season biocontrol applications were cost effective.

Technical Abstract: Aflatoxin contamination of corn is a major grain quality issue and can be a major economic limiting factor to Mississippi corn farmers. Biological control products based on aflatoxin non-producing strains of Aspergillus flavus are commercially available to prevent the contamination of corn with aflatoxin. Field trials were conducted in experimental plots and within commercial fields to evaluate the efficacy of these biocontrol products at two application rates and several application timings. After observations over three years several application timings were identified that reduced aflatoxin concentration in corn. Furthermore, several treatments were identified that were cost-effective across fields and years. These observations support the use of atoxigenic strains of A flavus to promote the safety and marketability of corn grown in areas susceptible to aflatoxin contamination.