Fusaria and mycotoxins in grain maize in Switzerland

Between 2008 and 2010, Agroscope Reckenholz- Tänikon ART conducted a first Swiss-wide monitoring of commercial grain maize samples. The aim was to determine the occurrence and impact of different Fusarium species in order to assess the potential risk of mycotoxin contamination. In addition, we evaluated the potential influence of different cropping factors in order to provide advice for growers on how to avoid high mycotoxin loads. 289 grain-maize samples from 14 cantons were analysed. Overall, 22 % of the grains were infected with Fusarium and 16 different species were identified. Fusarium graminearum, F. subglutinans, F. verticillioides and F. proliferatum were the most dominant species. In 2008 and 2010, 57 % and 70 % of the samples, respectively, exceeded the guidance value of 0,9 ppm deoxynivalenol (complementary and complete feedingstuffs for pigs). In 2009, 30 % of the samples exceeded this value. The levels of the other mycotoxins were substantially lower. Despite the extensive dataset, as of yet, only general recommendations can be defined with respect to influencing cropping factors that reduce the risk of mycotoxin contamination in grain maize.

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Fusaria and mycotoxins in grain maize in Switzerland

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