DON update: OCC testing results available

The Ontario Corn Committee (OCC) has released the results of a DON analysis conducted on 106 corn hybrid samples which were collected from five performance trial sites in southwestern Ontario in Fall 2018. The report is now available on GoCorn.net.

It is important to note that none of the hybrids can be said to be “resistant”. Under conditions favouring Gibberella, any of them can accumulate significant amounts of DON, but some hybrids consistently have higher-than-average DON levels, and others have lower-than-average DON levels.  The OCC believes that the information contained in this report will be a tool to assist growers in reducing the risk of selecting hybrids that are among the most susceptible.

Grain Farmers of Ontario is a member of the OCC and advocated for the sample testing and release of these results. Grain Farmers of Ontario also provided the financial support for the 2018 hybrid DON analysis in conjunction with OMAFRA.

Going forward, the OCC will conduct voluntary inoculated trials for rating hybrids for susceptibility to DON accumulation at Ridgetown and Ottawa. Use of inoculated trials ensures that all hybrids are subjected to the same level and types of disease pressure and provides data in years when there is little natural infection.

The results from 2019 are expected to be reviewed by the OCC by the end of November and will be reported to farmers (with hybrid names included) once accepted by the committee.

Funding of these trials for at least the next two years will be provided by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Grain Farmers of Ontario, the seed companies (through entry fees), and donations from a number of end-users.

It is the intent of the OCC that DON testing will be an on-going component of the hybrid testing offered by the OCC so that growers will continue to have an independent source of information to assist them in reducing the risk of DON contamination of their corn crops. •