Influence of agricultural practices on fusarium infection of cereals and subsequent contamination of grain by trichothecene mycotoxins

Simon G Edwards
Toxicology Letters 2004 October 10, 153 (1): 29-35
Fusarium head blight (FHB) of small grain cereals and ear rot in maize are significant diseases across the world. Infection can not only result in reduced yield as a result of shrunken grains but also result in reduced milling and malting quality and the contamination of grains with mycotoxins. Mycotoxins are hazardous to animal and human health. Therefore, guidelines and legislation are in place, or under consideration, in most countries to protect consumers and animal welfare. As fusarium mycotoxins are produced within the growing crop, it is important to understand how agricultural practices affect mycotoxin contamination of grain. Such information could then be used to determine guidelines on "Good Agricultural Practice" (GAP) to minimise the mycotoxin contamination of cereal products. Evidence is provided to show the importance of choice of cultivar, crop rotation, soil cultivation, fertiliser and the chemical and biological control of insects, weeds and fungi.

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