ICGA organizes meeting on escalating mycotoxin concerns - Indiana Corn and Soy

ICGA organizes meeting on escalating mycotoxin concerns

Posted: April 10, 2024
Category: ICGA, Membership and Policy, News

Mycotoxins are a growing concern among farmers, seed companies, grain buyers and animal health organizations. Mycotoxins are toxic substances produced by fungi growing in grain, feed, or food in the field or in storage and can be detrimental to the health of animals. Indiana Corn Growers Association (ICGA) organized a meeting among industry professionals, scientists and an ICGA farmer leader to discuss the issue, as well as work being done to provide solutions, with Congressman Jim Baird (IN-04) on Thursday, April 4 in Lebanon, Indiana.

Mycotoxins of concern in Indiana are associated with ear rot diseases. United Animal Health representatives noted that they were testing 2,000 samples for mycotoxins 10 years ago. Now they are testing 7,000 samples a year. Using the swine industry as an example, the presence of mycotoxins means that swine must remain on the market 2-3 more days, causing an increase in pounds of feed needed and results in fewer pounds of pork.

Gene editing offers a solution by speeding up the breeding needed to potentially add mycotoxin resistance to seeds. Interagency work and support by our federal legislators are needed to deregulate the process. Canada is currently outpacing the United States in gene editing efforts as seed companies work through the current process.

Tyler Everett, Lebanon corn farmer and volunteer director on the ICGA Board, spoke on the impact to farmers.

“I have seen an increase in testing for toxins when selling grain. It’s going to get stricter. I appreciate the discussion on the future of mycotoxin research that directly impacts Indiana corn growers. I’m more confident knowing that we have an ally in Representative Baird to support us through the regulatory issues.”

Kala Jenkins, Government Affairs Advocate for Beck’s Hybrids, noted that it will also be important that the pending farm bill has funding for research regarding the issue, working through the regulations and finding early mitigation opportunities.

Thank you to Congressman Baird and representatives from Beck’s Hybrids, United Animal Health, Purdue, POET, Agribusiness Council of Indiana and Indiana Corn Growers Association for joining us for this important issue briefing.  

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