Talk of vomitoxin has dominated this year’s corn harvest in Southwestern Ontario. But in a crop survey, OMAFRA identified only one patch of vomitoxin in Eastern Ontario, a pocket of land in Prescott-Russell where corn was testing at greater than 2 parts per million. Most elevator thresholds, however, start at 3 ppm, when price penalties kick in. Ingredion’s location at Cardinal, however, starts rejecting corn at 2 ppm.
Eastern Ontario’s had about an average year for vomitoxin, said OMAFRA’s field crop pathologist Albert Tenuta. The occasional field can’t go for feed but can go to other uses. But producers shouldn’t be complacent; Eastern Ontario is by no means immune to vomitoxin and producers shouldn’t think that what’s happening in Southwestern Ontario can’t happen here.
Southwestern Ontario has been rocked by devastating levels of vomitoxin, a toxic byproduct of a mould that can mean steep discounts or even outright rejection of corn crops. Most elevators outright reject a truckload of corn at 8 ppm vomitoxin, and some fields were testing as high as 45 ppm.
Ontario’s crop insurance agency, Agricorp, is allowing some farmers to write off entire fields. Frustrations abound amongst growers as infected corn has no clear market. Two farmers reported unreliable testing that sees them drive to one elevator, get rejected, then circle around for a second test and pass. Grain Farmers of Ontario is looking to get extra storage into the province to help store the infected corn and also wants to get testing at elevators standardized. But it’s an ongoing conversation with government on behalf of farmers who wanted a solution a month ago, said GFO chair Markus Haerle.