In situations where fermentation of high-moisture corn is in jeopardy, treatment with organic acids can prevent heating and mold growth, says North Dakota State University extension dairy specialist J.W. Schroeder. “Organic acids also can be used to preserve high-moisture corn when adequate storage space is not available. Given the grain-drying bottleneck the elevators now face, alternative storage options are being explored, including the addition of organic acids to wet corn.”

Corn with substantial mold on the kernels and cob should be harvested and stored as shelled corn rather than ear corn. Some producers have dried moldy corn to storable moisture while screening off the fines. However, where drying is not an option, an organic acid such as propionic acid should be used.

“Keep in mind that propionic acid will not lessen any problems from the mold, but it likely will prevent mold problems from getting worse,” Schroeder says.

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