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FDA grants Indiana farmers flexibility in blending corn for feed

—By the Indiana State
Department of Agriculture
& Kathleen M. Dutro
Public Relations Team

Due to the drought’s impact on Indiana’s 2012 corn crop, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted the Indiana State Department of Agriculture’s request allowing grain companies to blend corn containing higher levels of aflatoxin that exceed FDA’s normal guidelines.

The move gives farmers more flexibility in feeding their livestock during a time of limited forage and feed supplies while allowing safe and efficient use of Indiana’s corn harvest.

ISDA sent the waiver request to the FDA on Sept. 24, and as in the case of many other states, the FDA has granted Indiana’s request under specific conditions.

The FDA’s approval would allow corn containing more than 20 parts per billion of aflatoxin to be blended with corn with lower levels or zero aflatoxin for animal feed. The agreement stipulates that the “resulting product is below the appropriate aflatoxin action level in corn used as or in animal feed.”

This allows the corn to be safely fed to livestock pursuant to the FDA’s long-standing guidelines, ISDA said in a release.

As required by the FDA, the seller blending the corn containing aflatoxin must enter an agreement with ISDA to comply with the provisions included.

A copy of conditions and a certificate of compliance, as well as other drought-related documents, are available on the ISDA website, www.in.gov/isda, on its drought information page.

Purdue has warned producers that it’s best to evaluate fields for aflatoxin before they’re harvested.

“Once the grain is combined, it's more difficult to assess aflatoxin contamination,” said Purdue University plant pathologist Charles Woloshuk.

For more information on aflatoxin and managing corn in the 2012 harvest, visit the Purdue University Corn Mold Website, www.purdue.edu/cornmold.

Elevators and warehouses can get more information from the Indiana Grain Buyers and Warehouse Licensing Agency at 317-232-1359.

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