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DON is a naturally occurring mycotoxin that is a by-product of a naturally occurring wheat disease called Fusarium head scab. The symptoms of scab have been evident in fields across Michigan. The
Most grain elevators test truck-loads of wheat as they are delivered. Many of them are also willing to test samples for growers. However, growers may want to have their grain tested by an independent laboratory for the purpose of developing a marketing plan, meeting crop insurance requirements or segregating wheat into separate storage bins.
It takes a significant effort to obtain a reasonably representative grain sample because DON levels tend to be highly variable across fields of wheat and within bulk loads of grain. In addition, the test is highly sensitive so even a single kernel or a little chaff can contaminate a sample and affect test results. To sample a truck-load or grain bin of wheat, Michigan State University Extension recommends:
There are several public and private laboratories that offer DON testing. Two of the laboratories that can offer an official USDA GIPSA certificate are MI Grain Inspection Service and USDA GIPSA FGIS. Instruction for each follows.
MI Grain Inspection Service: A private laboratory certified by USDA near Mason; if using FedEx or UPS carrier, mail sample to: MGIS, 118 East Michigan, Marshall, MI 49068; if using the US Post Office, mail sample to P.O. Box 465, Marshall, MI 49068; their telephone number is 269-781-2711; the cost for DON testing is $26.50 per sample; [a full grade determination can be made for additional $9.50; Falling number testing is not available]; make checks out to MI Grain Inspection Service.
USDA GIPSA FGIS: A USDA facility in Maumee; if only requesting DON test, send at least one pound sample of
The one or
Wheat tests requested
Sample’s identification name or number
Farm or personal name
Farm mailing address
Both laboratories prefer to email the results and certified report to the sender. Test results are often available a couple days after the sample is received by the testing facility.
Source: Martin Nagelkirk, Michigan State University Extension
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