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ISU seeks moldy corn samples

By Staff | Sep 4, 2009

Alison Robertson, an Iowa State University Extension plant pathologist, examins a hail-damaged ear of corn. She is asking produers in hail-damaged areas to send corn samples to ISU.

The hail storms that pummeled crops in many parts of Iowa this summer have left dying plants and moldy corn ears of corn in their wake. Now Iowa State University researchers want these damaged ears for research.

“We’re hoping for at least 100 samples so we can determine the risk that late-season hail poses to grain quality,” said Alison Robertson, an ISU plant pathologist.Researchers are asking farmers to collect 10 to 25 ears per field right before harvest. Samples should be pulled from 10 places throughout the field. ISU researchers also want to know:

  • The date of the hail storm.
  • The size of the hailstones that hit the crop.
  • How long the hail lasted.
  • The growth stage of the corn when the hail hit.
  • The percentage of damage to the crop.
  • The corn hybrids affected by the hail.
  • Whether any fungicides were used on the crop.

ISU researchers will assess each corn sample for ear rot and mycotoxins. ISU will prepare a general report of all the samples.

In west-central Iowa, Mark Licht, ISU field agronomist, is coordinating efforts to transport corn samples to Ames. For more information, contact him at (712) 792-2364, or lichtma@iastate.edu.

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