» Preventive methods
» Regulations for feed
» Moulds and Yeasts
Prevention can only reduce but can not eliminate the risk of mycotoxin contamination. Management practices to maximize plant performance and reduce plant stress can substantially decrease mycotoxin contamination. This includes pre-harvest and also harvest management practices:
In the first year the plant gets infected with fungal spores. Afterwards the fungi can colonize other plants and also settle on the soil. After harvest the maize stubble remains in the soil and they are also colonized by fungi. If there is also maize on this field in the second year, the plant will be further contaminated.
Harvest and post-harvest control
The appropriate harvest time is essential for reducing the risk of a mycotoxin contamination. In general, it could be stated that early harvest leads to lower concentrations of mycotoxins. Additionally, special attention should be paid to careful harvesting procedures.
Another important point is the usage of appropriate harvest equipment that is correctly adjusted to avoid damage of the kernel, since damaged kernels could be predisposed to infection during storage. Additionally the equipment should be free from previous harvest residues to avoid cross contamination. Moreover, Fusarium spores in the soil are a ubiquitous issue, meaning it is also important to avoid contact between the soil and the harvester machine in order to reduce the risk of mycotoxin contamination of healthy grain.