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Grain elevators, ethanol producers finding DON in grain deliveries

Vomitoxin, or DON, has been found in some U.S. corn harvested this fall

2 Lisa Selfie December 2020 Headshot
Pavlo Baliukh | BIGSTOCK
Pavlo Baliukh | BIGSTOCK

Deoxynivalenol, also known as DON or vomitoxin, has been found in some U.S. corn harvested this fall, causing headaches for growers and livestock producers and driving ethanol plants and grain elevators to scrutinize grain deliveries.

Reuters reports the latest mycotoxin situation is another hit to global grain supplies that have sunk to the lowest in a decade since Russia invaded Ukraine. Drought has also impacted U.S. and European crop.

What is deoxynivalenol?

Deoxynivalenol, known as DON or vomitoxin, is one of the mycotoxins most commonly produced by the fungus Fusarium graminearum.

Feed made from grain contaminated with concentrated levels of DON can sicken livestock and lead to low weight gain, particularly among hogs.

Grain buyers can reject cargoes or fine farmers for shipments that contain it.

When harvest is slowed or delayed due to wet weather, the fungus can surface.

Reports of DON in corn

Early signs of the toxin are emerging in Ohio, according to a weekly report from the USDA.

Reports note grain buyers in eastern Indiana are also starting to more rigorously test corn deliveries for vomitoxin.

The Monday Mycotoxin and Crop Report from Neogen this week noted DON in corn in Alabama and Ohio.


Deoxynivalenol can also caused issues for ethanol producers who sell the byproduct distillers dried grains (DDGS) for animal feed.

On its website, POET, notes it is testing for vomitoxin in grain being delivered to its plants in Fostoria, Leipsic and Marion, Ohio, and Portland, Indiana.

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