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[INFOGRAPHICS] The 2018 Corn Harvest found to be of rather good nutritional and fungal quality

From September to December 2018, TECHNA ran a survey of corn crop quality based on corn samples collected from different regions of France. The conclusion? "There has been little change in nutritional quality, and the fungal quality of corn has improved significantly compared to the 2017 harvest," according to TECHNA feed formulators.

corn crop maize survey 2018 mycotoxin DON contamination levels

How can one assess the quality of the 2018 corn crop and its impact on the quality and costs of feed formulae? The yearly corn crop survey run by TECHNA FRANCE NUTRITION covers 249 batches collected from different parts of France. More than 1 100 tests were performed on various corn crop samples in order to estimate the quality of this year’s corn harvest as well as its mycotoxin level. This study measured the contamination levels of T2-HT2 toxins, zearalenone (ZEA), deoxynivalenol (DON), and fumonisins (B1 + B2) in different regions.

New 2018 corn crop: stable nutritional values compared to the previous crop

Analytical values of the 2018 corn crop are essentially the same as those of 2017. Moisture dropped by 0.2%, while protein, fat and starch levels remained stable (7.3%, 3.4% and 64.6%, respectively). Although average nutritional values are similar nation-wide, differences can be seen at the local level. There are slight variations in corn quality across regions: corn in the South-West region is more protein-rich (7.3%, against 6.9% in 2017) with a lower starch content (64.4%, against 65.4% in 2017). Conversely, corn in the Pays de la Loire / Poitou Charente region has less protein (6.9% vs. 7.2% in 2017) and a slightly higher starch content (65.4%, compared to 64.9% in 2017).

Promatest values, a good indicator of the quality of the drying process, were 25.6 on average (in equivalent mg albumin / 100 ml) for this 2018 harvest. This represents a significant improvement over the previous harvest (20.4 in 2017).

Corn 2018: a better fungal quality

Mycotoxin contamination level is lower than that of the previous harvest. DON remains the most frequently occurring mycotoxin, followed by fumonisins, zearalenone. T-2 / HT-2 remains scarce. None of the collected samples did surpassed the recommended thresholds, although some samples were found to exceed TECHNA’s technical thresholds (which are based on internal recommendations). The average DON content is 280 ppb (compared to 543 ppb in 2017) and the average Fumonisin content is 634 ppb (compared to 754 ppb in 2017).

The map of mycotoxins (DON, Zearalenone and Fumonisins B1 + B2) shows that contamination levels vary from region to region. Analytical pressure - that is, the frequency of analyzes by region - must be taken into account when interpreting this data in order to avoid jumping to premature conclusions regarding low or high levels of contamination by region.

The mycotoxin control strategy must be maintained although the risk is much lower than that of the previous harvest. High levels of DON may yet be found.

Are you a feed miller who would like to get advice on corn utilization for feeding different species? Our feed formulators are available to assess the impact of the 2018 corn harvest on your formula prices. Feel free to contact them!

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