Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey says a mold called aflatoxin has been in corn grown in northwest Iowa, but it does not pose a major problem. Northey says the rates of the aflatoxin are very infrequent and at very low levels, and the main thing is to be sure the corn gets used the right way. He says the corn can be blended with other corn to be fed to livestock.
The aflatoxin was found in Plymouth and Sioux county, and while mold is often associated with wet conditions, Northey says the opposite is true here. He says the drought conditions in July and August cause the problems, as they’ve check the wet areas and haven’t found any aflatoxin in those areas. Northey says excessive rainfall is causing some problems with getting soybeans and corn out of the fields.
Northey says it depends on each situation and how wet things are, as some people didn’t get much rain this weekend, but others got three or four inches. He says the farmers with lots of rain are having problems. Some farmers are already considering alternatives if the rain continues. Northey says sometimes you can wait until the ground freezes and the combine can ride on top of the mud. He says some farmers are already considering that, but are holding out hope things will dry out.
Northey says the delays by muddy fields aren’t expected to hamper what’s predicted to be a record yield. Northey says the yield impact shouldn’t be much right now, he says the greatest risk is having the harvest delayed, and then snow falls on the crop.
Northey says the wet weather shouldn’t drive up drying costs for farmers. He says corn generally doesn’t pick up more moisture, it’s more of a problem for soybeans. Northey says so far the corn has been coming out of the fields and not requiring much drying. Northey says the next couple of weeks will be key in seeing how much the fields dry out.