Plant Pathology Department


Date of this Version



Copyright © 2012 The Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska on behalf of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln Extension. All rights reserved.


Extension Circular 1901 (EC1901).

Under certain conditions, corn ear rot and grain mold diseases are common and can lead to loss of grain quality. Moldy grain can be docked or rejected at the elevator. Additionally, some ear and grain pathogens may produce secondary metabolites called mycotoxins, which are toxic to animals and humans consuming the contaminated grain. Mycotoxin-contaminated grain can also be docked or rejected. Mycotoxin production may start in the field and continue after harvest, or it may start during storage if mold infection begins there. When grain storage is necessary, drying grain to less than 15 percent moisture for long-term storage or to no more than 18 percent for short-term storage will help reduce fungal growth.