Courtesy photo.

Representatives of National Corn Growers Association recently visited the Mycotoxin Prevention and Applied Microbiology research unit of USDA laboratory this week in Peoria, Illinois, to gain insight and provide input into the group’s mycotoxin research.

The lab aims to enhance food safety and crop production in the U.S. and around the world. Researchers use information from genetics, microbiology, chemistry and plant biology to develop new ways to limit mycotoxin contamination, control foodborne diseases, and improve crop production.

Aflatoxin Mitigation Center of Excellence chair Charles Ring, a producer from Texas, visited the MPM unit along with Texas Corn Producers Executive Director David Gibson and NCGA Director of Research & Productivity Robyn Allscheid.

As the unit develops its next five-year plan, NCGA was invited to give feedback on priorities through both a survey and in-person meetings. “Mycotoxin research is critically important for food safety and security,” said Ring. “Choices are being made and we want to be sure our growers’ priorities are being heard.”

During the visit, the group heard from researchers working on a variety of issues, ranging from sampling and detection methods to genetic tools for controlling mycotoxin contamination in grain. “Mycotoxins are important to our trade partners, and NCGA research support is critical to ensure that corn quality is maintained from the field through storage and transportation as we supply the world’s needs,” said Gibson. 

“The meeting was an excellent opportunity to establish relationships with the research staff working on issues that are important to all of our growers,” commented Allscheid. “We hope that moving forward, we will continue to have a good dialogue to ensure that our growers’ research needs are being met.”


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