Appearance of poisonous mould causing major concern for corn farmers

Canadian Farm NewsUncategorized

Scott Miller, CTV London

November 13, 2018

Farmers are calling it ‘catastrophic.’ A potentially poisonous mould called vomitoxin is threatening a large portion of Southwestern Ontario’s corn crop.

Inconsistent testing has corn producers pulling out their hair, as to whether their corn is “passable” or “worthless.”

Some farmers are having their corn turned away at grain elevators due to excessive vomitoxin levels, only to have the next elevator say it’s clear.

Clinton-area farmer Mike Colclough says elevator operators are turning into lab techs, but there’s no real standard test, so results are inconsistent and sometimes there’s no follow-up.

While it may not seem like such a big deal, the difference in outcome can mean the difference between making money, or facing potentially devastating losses.

That means many corn farmers have been waiting as late as possible to harvest, hoping the testing issue gets sorted out.

Ontario Agriculture Minister Ernie Hardeman is holding an emergency meeting with with farmers, corn buyers, and end users like ethanol plants this Thursday to see if government assistance is required.