The State of Wisconsin issued a warning to farmers and feed mill operators about the hazards posed by flood waters and their potential to contaminate corn, soybeans and forage crops. Wisconsin has had an abnormally wet summer, with flooding occurring in some areas.
“We’ve sent our environmental specialists to check feed mills in flooded areas of the state to check whether feed products or ingredients may have come in contact with flood waters,” says Heather Bartley, feed program manager with the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture.
Flood waters can contain sewage, bacteria and other pathogens, along with pesticides, chemical wastes and other toxins that can contaminate both standing crops and stored feeds. Mold growth can also be a problem under wet, humid conditions, especially if stored grain isn’t properly ventilated.
“Producers who store ingredients at elevators or feed mills until they need it for on-farm mixing should be aware of the flood status of those businesses and the possibility of mycotoxins,” she says. Any feed or feed ingredient showing signs of mold should be tested for mycotoxins, including aflatoxin, which might be a carcinogen.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has posted information on harvesting crops in flooded areas and testing stored feed for contamination. You can access that information here.