Fungus-infected wheat not bought by grain elevators at harvest may have use as seed for
Veterinary toxicologists at the University of Missouri see the possibilities in planting the rejected crop.
On animal health, Tim Evans, DVM toxicologist, said he sees nothing in the life cycle of the small-grain fungus that would prevent using the seed for
However, germination of the seed could be reduced, he added.
Questions on using “vomitoxin wheat” came from farmers, said MU Extension specialists on the weekly agronomy teleconference.
Wet weather during flowering and seed set of small grains caused multiple types of
“Vomitoxin gets attention because FDA set limits on
The FDA vomitoxin limit for swine ration is one part per million (ppm). For feed yard cattle, the limit is 10 ppm. For dairy
Of serious concern is the toxin zearalenone produced by the same fungus. It impacts breeding females, acting as an estrogen, Evans said.
Female hogs show swollen vulvas and mammary glands. Reproductive tract development can be slowed. The estrogen-like toxin might affect reproductive tracts of developing heifers and cows.
The toxin develops under the same conditions as vomitoxin.
Not only the seed but also straw can contain these toxins. “Care must be used in selecting bedding straw,” Evans said.
Local elevators use truck-side tests for vomitoxin, said George Rottinghaus,
The lab provides farmers more precise readings of mycotoxins in parts per million. The quick test at the elevator shows if there is enough toxin to reject or discount a load of wheat.
This summer Evans receives at least a couple of calls a day about vomitoxin in wheat, he said.
The fungus also infects rye,
Also unknown is the germination level of infected wheat seed, Wiebold said. Seed test labs can check germination. Or farmers can do their own “flowerpot test” to determine percent germination, or “rag-doll tests” can be run by putting seeds in a wet cloth rolled up and kept at temperature of fields at planting.
For farmers, planting the bad seed solves two problems. It makes use of worthless seed. Also, it provides soil cover to prevent erosion.
With limitations on land that earns
For local information, farmers can contact their regional MU Extension specialist.
Source: University of Missouri
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