The 19th Annual Multi-Crop Aflatoxin Elimination Workshop, finishing today in Fort Worth, Texas, is bringing together scientists, growers, and industry members to talk about how to fight aflatoxin infestation.
National Corn Growers Association and Corn Producers of Texas are sponsoring the conference.
"The attendance is good, and the interaction among the scientists, industry representatives and attendees has been excellent,"" says Scott Averhoff, a Texas producer and chairman of NCGA's Mycotoxin Task Force. "It's clear there has been a good exchange of information."
The Aspergillus family of molds produces aflatoxin, which can impact corn, cotton, peanuts, and tree nuts and is most often associated with drought stress.
Conference participants have led discussions about fungal genomics, conventional breeding, crop management and handling, and microbial ecology. Visitors at the conference could also tour the Ft. Worth Grain Exchange to see industry tests for aflatoxin and get a look at how testing works as a link between the grower and the end users.
"Although corn hasn't seen much progress in controlling aflatoxin, some other commodities have," Averhoff says. "We would love to see the issue resolved completely in all crops. There's a light at the end of the tunnel, thanks to the research efforts of those in attendance at the conference."