Texas corn producers now have another atoxigenic tool to add to management efforts against aflatoxin. The Environmental Protection Agency approved AF 36, a product registered by the Arizona Cotton Research and Protection Council, for producers to use in Texas and Arizona, effective immediately as of March 9.

AF 36 is the newest addition to the atoxigenic tools available for producers to fight aflatoxin, joining Afla-Guard, a Syngenta product.

Since 2006, the Texas Corn Producers Board has funded research conducted by Peter Cotty, PhD, with the USDA-ARS at the University of Arizona, to evaluate the efficacy of AF 36 on corn in Texas.

This was done under an Experimental Use Permit issued by the EPA. Under the EUP, there have been three years of direct applications of AF 36 to corn acres in Texas. Producers from the Rio Grande Valley to Winter Garden to Central Texas participated in testing this product.

In certain field trials, AF 36 reduced the presence of aflatoxin to less than 20 parts per billion, while other nearby untreated fields were often in excess of 300 parts per billion. Afla-Guard has demonstrated similar results.

“This is one of the increasing numbers of tools Texas producers have to manage aflatoxin contamination pre-harvest,” TCPB Chairman Scott Averhoff said.

This is a tremendous step in helping producers prevent high aflatoxin levels in their fields, and ease devastating economic losses.

Aflatoxin is a potential problem from the Red River to the Rio Grande of Texas but can occur anywhere corn is grown. Losses to Aflatoxin contamination can range from minor discounts at time of sale to complete destruction of the crop.

Corn is the most widely grown crop that can be affected by aflatoxin contamination in the U.S. Heat, drought, high humidity and insect infestation predispose corn to infection by aflatoxin contamination of the grain.

TCPB encourages producers to consider the use of atoxigenics and other aflatoxin-management products when preparing for this year’s growing season. More information about AF 36 is forthcoming, and will be posted to the TCPB website, www.TexasCorn.org.