Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Newsbite: Farmers Should Take Care Handling Contaminated Grain

At this time of year in some parts of the world there are large harvests of grain, including the US. In some areas the grain can become contaminated with aflatoxin after growth of Aspergillus in some parts of a field - it is difficult to predict where  as Aspergillus tends to infect crops that have become stressed, often by drought and/or insect damage.

Contamination is detected in most parts of the developed world by tests run by government agencies  responsible for ensuring food is of good quality and of course grain buyers can also run their own tests. If a farmer finds out he has a contaminated batch of grain he has a few options, depending on the extent of the contamination, but often the grain must be disposed of.

This report suggests that in the past the grain has been simply dumped outside - perhaps on a spare bit of land or in a landfill site. The report warns that this makes the contaminated grain highly available to wildlife for whom the toxic grain is fatal. Adding to the problem is the large number of hungry migrant birds passing through many areas at the time of year. Farmers are being asked to ensure that any contaminated grain is not available to passing wildlife. more...

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