Ethanol Blog
Cheryl Anderson DTN Staff Reporter

Tuesday 09/25/12

Aflatoxin Concerns Continue Through Harvest

Concerns over aflatoxin in corn and the resulting dried distillers grains will likely continue in coming weeks through harvest.

Aflatoxin in corn is especially worrisome for ethanol producers. The distillation process used to produce ethanol concentrates the nutrients by three times in the resulting distillers grains. Unfortunately, that same process also concentrates levels of aflatoxin threefold.

Dairy cattle and hogs are particularly sensitive to aflatoxin; however, beef cattle can tolerate slightly higher levels. Anderson said producers should consult their nutritionists on what levels of aflatoxin they can use.

The FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine has set recommended action levels for aflatoxins at 300 parts per billion for finishing (feedlot) cattle, 200 ppb for finishing swine, 100 ppb for breeding cattle or swine and 20 ppb for dairy cattle, young cattle or swine.

Some truckloads in states like Illinois and Ohio have been testing high, according to Steve Anderson, DDG merchandiser for CHS in Minneapolis. Distillers with high levels of aflatoxin are sold at a discount.

Because of aflatoxin worries, Anderson said buyers seem to be sticking to the spot market and are careful to know what they are getting.

Anderson said he believes more aflatoxin will be discovered as harvest continues.

"The aflatoxin story isn't done yet," he said. "It will drive things in the next few weeks as the new crop comes in and we see how high levels are."

Cheryl Anderson can be reached at

Posted at 11:28AM CDT 09/25/12 by Cheryl Anderson
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