Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New Computer Program Predicts Mycotoxin Levels In Corn

Date:
January 14, 2005
Source:
USDA / Agricultural Research Service
Summary:
Predicting mycotoxin levels in midwestern corn is now possible with a new computer program developed by Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists.

Corn.
Credit: Photo by Doug Wilson / courtesy of USDA / Agricultural Research Service

Predicting mycotoxin levels in midwestern corn is now possible with a new computer program developed by Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists.

Mycotoxins are natural carcinogens produced by certain molds, particularly Aspergillus flavus and Fusarium moniliforme. Strict regulatory controls determine the sale and use of mycotoxin-containing corn, because of the carcinogens' potential danger to humans and livestock. Corn with mycotoxin levels above the allowable limit may be rejected; harvests with levels at or below the limit may face devalued markets. Annually, mycotoxin-associated losses cost the U.S. corn industry hundreds of millions of dollars.

Mycotoxins can be detected in corn through testing. But predicting the conditions that cause the molds to produce the carcinogens has been a matter of guesswork, according to Patrick Dowd, an entomologist at the ARS National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research, in Peoria, Ill.

Dowd's solution is Mycotoxin Predictor 1.1. Copyrighted by collaborators at Illinois Central College, the Windows-friendly software program uses equations to mathematically predict mycotoxin levels using temperature, soil type, numbers of insects and other factors that influence the molds' growth and spread.

By entering such data into the program, a farmer can predict the likelihood--and levels--of mycotoxin contamination more than a month before harvest. Mold growth is often tied to insect damage. So, if the program predicts that mycotoxin problems are likely to arise from heavy insect feeding, the farmer may opt to spray the crop before caterpillars can hide inside corn husks and cause damage that allows mold growth.

Dowd wrote the software program in 1998 after six years of collecting data on field conditions and corn ear contamination in connection with two mycotoxins, aflatoxin and fumonisin. He validated the program's predictions by comparing them with an independent lab's analysis of mycotoxin levels in more than two dozen corn hybrids used in field tests from 2000 to 2003 in collaboration with the Central Illinois Irrigated Growers Association.

ARS is seeking a software company that can market Mycotoxin Predictor 1.1 to farmers, millers, refiners and others.

ARS is the U.S. Department of Agriculture's chief scientific research agency.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by USDA / Agricultural Research Service. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

USDA / Agricultural Research Service. "New Computer Program Predicts Mycotoxin Levels In Corn." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 January 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/01/050104110231.htm>.
USDA / Agricultural Research Service. (2005, January 14). New Computer Program Predicts Mycotoxin Levels In Corn. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/01/050104110231.htm
USDA / Agricultural Research Service. "New Computer Program Predicts Mycotoxin Levels In Corn." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/01/050104110231.htm (accessed September 30, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Earth Has Lost Half Its Vertebrate Wildlife Since 1970: WWF

Earth Has Lost Half Its Vertebrate Wildlife Since 1970: WWF

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) A new study published by the World Wide Fund for Nature found that more than half of the world's wildlife population has declined since 1970. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
California University Designs Sustainable Winery

California University Designs Sustainable Winery

Reuters - US Online Video (Sep. 27, 2014) Amid California's worst drought in decades, scientists at UC Davis design a sustainable winery that includes a water recycling system. Vanessa Johnston reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Argentina Worries Over Decline of Soybean Prices

Argentina Worries Over Decline of Soybean Prices

AFP (Sep. 27, 2014) The drop in price of soy on the international market is a cause for concern in Argentina, as soybean exports are a major source of income for Latin America's third largest economy. Duration: 01:10 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mama Bear, Cubs Hang out in California Backyard

Mama Bear, Cubs Hang out in California Backyard

Reuters - US Online Video (Sep. 27, 2014) A mama bear and her two cubs climb trees, wrestle and take naps in the backyard of a Monrovia, California home. Vanessa Johnston reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins