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Fungal populations in usa farm stored grain and their relationship to moisture storage time regions and insect infestation

Fungal populations in usa farm stored grain and their relationship to moisture storage time regions and insect infestation

Phytopathology 74(9): 1050-1053

One hundred surface-disinfected kernels were plated from each of 2,557 samples taken from farm bins in 27 states in 1980. Aspergillus glaucus was found in 84% of the corn, 70% of the oat and 37% of the wheat samples. Corn, oat and wheat samples with A. glaucus had averages of 26, 20 and 14% of the kernels invaded, respectively. Fungal contamination varied little in corn from 4 crop year. Wheat from the most recent (1979) crop year was low in storage fungi and high in field fungi compared with earlier crop years. Storage fungi averaged higher in samples with higher as-received moisture contents, even though most moisture contents were too low to permit mold growth. A. glaucus was also higher in northern compared with southern states in the central plains. Other storage fungi found included A. restrictus and other species of Aspergillus and Penicillium, A. flavus was found in an average of 1.2% of all corn kernels and in less than 0.1% of the oats and wheat. Samples heavily invaded by storage fungi were more likely to also contain insects than were lightly invaded or uninvaded samples. This report provides the 1st extensive documentation of the incidence and extent of fungal invasion in farm-stored grain in the USA.

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