Pa. wheat growers advised to test for toxin

July 14, 2009 6:11:24 PM PDT
Pennsylvania's agriculture secretary says wheat growers who think they may have a low-yield or low-quality crop this year should test for a toxin that is affecting grains in other states. Secretary Dennis Wolff said Tuesday that Pennsylvania's wet and cool weather this season may have provided an ideal environment for the toxin-producing fungi.

He advised growers to contact their crop insurance agent or adjuster immediately so that they can sample for the presence of the toxin.

Farm officials in other states including North Dakota are concerned about the fungus. In North Carolina, the state is providing free testing.

Previous outbreaks have caused major losses, but industry officials believe new plant varieties and better research and techniques will prevent that this time.

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