(Atlantic) There have been several reports of a black mold covering the leaves and stalks of corn plants across the state. Walking in these fields turn a white shirt black quickly. Not surprisingly, combining this blackened corn is also very likely dirty.
Aaron Sauegling Ag and Natural Resources Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Field Agronomist told KSOM/KS95 news, “The black mold is saprophytic fungi-microorganisms that feed on dead plant material. The wet over the weekend followed by warm, humid weather and morning dews have growth of these organisms. They are not known to produce toxins, and the harvested grain should look relatively clean.”
Saugling says individuals with allergies or respiratory problems are encouraged to wear dust masks to reduce breathing in masses of spores. These saprophytic fungi are a big contributor to the mold portion of the pollen and mold counts. It is also important to keep combine engines and can filters clean.
September 4, 2012