Areas that were dry this past growing season may have higher levels of grain molds in corn fields.

That's according to a South Dakota Cooperative Extension Service publication called: Aflatoxins Hazards in Grain/Aflatoxicosis and Livestock. http://agbionews.sdstate.edu/articles/aflatoxinpub.html

Many different fungi can grow as mold on stored grains, although not all fungi produce toxins. Aspergillus, a common grain mold, does produce a toxin called aflatoxin. Storing the grain at less than 14% moisture is the only way to prevent the spread of mold and toxins in storage.

According to the publication, aflatoxins are highly toxic to livestock, poultry and people in which case the Food and Drug Administration has stepped in with an action level. Corn containing aflatoxin levels of 20 parts per billion or greater should not be sold in interstate commerce, fed to young poultry or livestock, lactating animals or be used for human consumption.

The publication, Aflatoxins Hazards in Grain/Aflatoxicosis and Livestock, is available through the internet at http://sdces.sdstate.edu Click on the news and publications folder, choose the publications header and scroll down to plant science.