Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler is encouraging farmers to have their corn tested for aflatoxin to prevent contamination of feeds and food.
Aflatoxin is a byproduct of the mold Aspergillus flavus, and can be harmful to both humans and livestock.
“Because of our climate in North Carolina, there’s always the potential for aflatoxin to appear,” Troxler said. “Farmers should take advantage of our testing service to protect feed and food against this mold.”
Some farmers may need to have corn samples tested for crop insurance or quality assurance purposes. These samples must be submitted to a grain marketing location certified by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The tests cost $22.20 per sample.
For insurance or quality assurance purposes, farmers must submit a 5-pound sample of shelled corn by mail, UPS or FedEx to a USDA-certified grain marketing location. The following locations can conduct USDA-certified testing, and they will accept samples between 6:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. weekdays:
Cargill Soybean Plant
Attn: Ben Honeycutt
1400 S. Blount St.
Raleigh, NC 27603
Grain Grading Office
Attn: Judy Grimes
407-G South Griffin St.
Elizabeth City, NC 27909
Farmers who grow or buy bulk corn to feed to their own animals can have it tested for free by the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Constable Laboratory, 4000 Reedy Creek Road in Raleigh. This laboratory is not on the Risk Management Agency’s approved testing facility list; therefore, results from this location will not be accepted for insurance claims.
Farmers may drop off 5-pound samples of shelled corn at the lab or at one of six agricultural research stations. Forms for submitting samples will be available at the following collection sites:
•Border Belt Tobacco Research Station, 86 Border Belt Drive, Whiteville, 910-648-4703;
•Peanut Belt Tobacco Research Station, 112 Research Station Lane, Lewiston-Woodville, 252-348-2213;
•Tidewater Research Station, 207 Research Station Road, Plymouth, 252-793-4118;
•Lower Coastal Plain Tobacco/Cunningham Research Station, 200 Cunningham Road, Kinston, 252-527-3579;
•Piedmont Research Station, 8350 Sherrills Ford Road, Salisbury, 704-278-2624;
•Mountain Horticultural Crops Research Station, 74 Research Drive, Fletcher, 828-684-7197.
Samples also may be mailed directly to the lab at the following address:
N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
Food and Drug Protection Division
1070 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-1070
For additional information about the aflatoxin testing program, contact Jennifer Godwin or Michelle Gilliam at 919-733-7366.