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One Sample Strategy for Aflatoxin Risk Management in Texas

A voluntary program to protect consumers and facilitate commerce

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Addresing Uncertainty in the Market

At most commercial grain elevators in Texas each truckload of corn is sampled and tested for aflatoxin up to three or more times. These tests are performed to help elevator operators make corn purchasing decisions, help insurance representatives determine the value of the corn for insurance purposes, and help regulators control the sale and distribution of corn over 20 ppb aflatoxin.

Aflatoxin, however, is not uniformly distributed in each kernel of corn and its presence is measured in parts per billion. Consequently, each separate measurement is likely to yield different aflatoxin results that create uncertainty in the market place.

To minimize the negative market impact of multiple aflatoxin measurements, the One Sample Strategy uses approved sampling methodology, validated test kits, employee training, adoption of quality control techniques, recordkeeping, and monitoring by competent authorities to ensure one sample of corn can represent the aflatoxin level in a truck load of corn.

Maize The dark green pictured on this corn ear is Aspergillus flavus, the fungus that produces aflatoxin. Texas AgriLife Research photo by Blair Fannin

Factors that Introduce Uncertainty

  • Inconsistent corn sampling & aflatoxin testing equipment & methods
  • Multiple tests that yield varied results
  • Delayed test results

Market Research

An evaluation of the Texas Grain Industry Conformance to the USDA Risk Management Agency’s Loss Adjustment Manual (LAM)