Home Discussion Forum Cover Crops Cover crops, no-till, and vomitoxin in corn silage

This topic contains 2 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Andy Bensend Andy Bensend 2 years, 6 months ago.

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  • #1204
    Profile photo of Joe Bragger
    Joe Bragger

    I was recently told by another farmer that he was wondering if Cover crops and not tilling corn silage ground led to increased vomitoxin levels in subsequent corn silage.  I know of at least one farmer that has started to utilize tillage in hopes of combating mold and vomitoxin levels in his feed.   Anyone have experience or knowledge of this

  • #1207
    Profile photo of Matt Ruark
    Matt Ruark


    Joe Lauer (Corn Agronomist at UW) has some info on this: http://corn.agronomy.wisc.edu/Silage/S006.aspx

    To me, what this is saying is that it is typically the environmental conditions that favor the growth of the mycotoxins… “Since molds are spore-forming organisms, they have the unique ability to survive even the most unfavorable growth conditions. They will grow wherever there is a suitable substrate, pH, and adequate amounts of water, oxygen and heat.” But that a higher incidence has been noted in no-till.

    “Certain agronomic practices are associated with higher incidences of mycotoxin-producing fungi. No-till or minimum till cultivation, corn on corn cropping patterns, delayed planting, heavy applications of manure, and fertility imbalances have all been implicated. Likewise, corn plants subjected to insect, wind, or hail damage are more prone to mold growth and potential mycotoxin contamination.”

    In my trials, which are almost all cover crops and not-till, even with a lot of rye growth I haven’t seen the dead rye biomass be a problem for disease. I would think the corn on corn would be a bigger issue, if there is a lot of corn residue on the surface and prolonged weather conditions exist to promote mold.

  • #1208
    Profile photo of Andy Bensend
    Andy Bensend

    Joe,    I would have to agree with Mark on this one.    There is no reason to expect that cover crops would increase the levels of molds or problematic toxins in the corn silage.   The incidence is more directly tied to weather, disease or insect pressure, and the presence of an abundance of inoculum for these organisms to grow and produce the concern.   To further complicate the discussion is to understand that these different toxins are elevated from completely different environments.   Droughts cause some to be more common, while cool wet weather patterns cause others to increase.    Insect or hail damage allow an entry for others.



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