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Corn growers urged to test for aflatoxin


State corn growers are being advised to test this year's crop before delivering it to elevators. Dry weather during the spring and wet conditions at harvest may mean high levels of aflatoxin in the corn which can limit the ways it can be used or even render it unusable.

Aflatoxin is a toxic chemical produced when the mold Aspergillus flavus grows on corn and other crops including peanuts and cottonseed. The chemical is a carcinogen and can be toxic to certain livestock.

"Early samples have shown the presence of aflatoxin in some fields and we are urging producers to take samples as they begin harvest," said State Secretary of Agriculture, Terry Peach. "Oklahoma State University County Extension offices can provide information on how to take the samples."

By testing early, producers with excessive aflatoxin levels can limit harvest expenses and reduce their loss.

Low levels of aflatoxin can be used in certain livestock and poultry feeds.

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