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 prove harmful to both humans and livestock.

“The hot summer and the heavy rains from Hurricane Irene have increased the potential for aflatoxin in corn,” Troxler says. “It’s very important that farmers have their corn tested.”

Troxler says 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. USDA-certified testing can be conducted at the following locations between 6:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. weekdays:

  • Cargill Soybean Plant, 1400 S. Blount St., Raleigh, NC 27601, (919) 733-4491;
  • Grain Grading Office, 407-G Griffin St., Elizabeth City, NC 27909, (252) 337-9782.
  • Farmers who grow or buy bulk corn to feed their own animals can have corn tested for free by the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Constable Laboratory, 4000 Reedy Creek Road in Raleigh, NC. Lab results are not approved for insurance claims.

    Farmers may also drop off 5-lb. samples of shelled corn at the lab or at a number of agricultural research stations in North Carolina.

    Samples may also be mailed directly to the lab at the North Carolina 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 the state agriculture department, (919) 733-7366.