There are seven Western Ontario labs that will test for vomitoxin.
1. A&L Laboratories Canada. London, Ont. Call: 519-457-2575. Cost: $25. Turnaround time: 3-5 days.
2. Actlabs Agriculture. Ancaster, Ont. Call: 905-648-9611. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Cost: based on volume. Turnaround time: 1-3 days.
3. SGS Canada Inc. Agri-Food Laboratories. Guelph, Ont. Call: 519-837-1600. Toll-free: 1-800-265-7175. Email: Ca.email@example.com Cost: $24.75. Turnaround time: 3-5 days.
4. Agribrands Purina, Strathroy Central Laboratory. Strathroy, Ont. Call: 519-245-9600. Cost: $32. Turnaround time: 1-2 days.
5. Animal Health Laboratory, Laboratory Services Division. University of Guelph, Guelph, Ont. Call: 519-824-4120 Ext. 54530. Cost: Contact the lab for pricing. Turnaround time: 7-10 days.
6. University of Guelph Laboratory Services. Guelph, Ont. Call: 519-767-6299. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Cost: Contact the lab for pricing. Turnaround time: 7-10 days.
7. Stratford Agri-Analysis. Stratford, Ont. Call: 519-273-4411. Toll-free: 1-800-323-9089. Cost: $26. Turnaround time: 3-4 days.
There are four main tests for vomitoxin levels.
• Near-infrared light: The test is very quick but measures kernel damage not toxin.
• Lateral flow strips: Fast and effective and inserted into a commercial scanner but can give false positives and negatives. Most elevators use this test. Farmers Forum found a 2012 study by two research scientists at Charm Sciences in Massachusetts who found the test was inaccurate less than one per cent of the time and the error (up to .5 parts per million) was more dependent on the one taking the sample than the test itself.
• ELISA: Enzyme-linked ImmunoSorbent Assay: A sensitive test, but takes time and can give false positives and negatives. The Canadian Grain Commission will test for $200 and it takes five days. Most labs in Ontario use this kind of test and charge between $20 and $40. Takes two days.
• Chromatography: Very accurate, but expensive and requires specialists.