Weather conditions have made the fungus vomitoxin a threat to this year’s wheat crop. Scott Lucas, Director of USDA’s Risk Management Agency’s (RMA) Raleigh Regional Office, offers reminders for producers with crop insurance.
If you think your wheat has vomitoxin, notify your crop insurance agent before you harvest the grain, put the grain in storage; or deliver it for sale. Your insurance provider will take samples for testing and submit them to an approved testing facility. Depending on the vomitoxin level present, the wheat price may be discounted or, in rare cases, the grain will need to be destroyed.
Vomitoxin levels can increase in storage. Therefore, losses are only insurable if the grain is tested at an approved testing facility before being moved into commercial storage. A producer may also make arrangements with their insurance provider to leave representative sample areas of the unharvested crop. The adjuster will take samples from these areas for vomitoxin testing. Producers cannot collect their own samples. Samples must be collected by their insurance provider or a disinterested third party, such as an approved elevator.
A list of approved testing facilities can be found on our website:
Additional vomitoxin information can be found on the RMA website: http://www.rma.usda.gov/handbooks/25000/2013/13_25010-2h.pdf
Lucas urges all producers to contact their insurance agent with any questions concerning vomitoxin. Your crop insurance agent can provide you with additional information specific to your needs.