The deoxynivalenol (DON) content of maize silage was determined in samples collected at harvest and after ensiling in 2001 and 2002 from 30 to 40 Pennsylvania dairies. Information on cultural practices, hybrid maturity, planting, and harvest date was collected from each site. Site-specific weather data and a corn development model were used to estimate hybrid development at each site. Correlation analysis was used to assess the relationship between weather data, hybrid development, cultural practices and preharvest DON. Fermentation characteristics (moisture, pH, and so on) of ensiled samples were measured to study their relationship to postharvest DON contamination. No significant difference (P ≤ 0.05) was noted between the numbers of samples containing DON in 2001 and 2002, although concentration was higher in 2002 samples. A positive correlation was observed between DON concentration of harvest samples and daily average temperature, minimum temperature, and growing degree day during tasselling, silking, and milk stages. A negative correlation was observed between daily average precipitation at blister stage and DON concentration in harvest samples. Samples from no-till or minimum-till locations had higher DON concentrations than moldboard or mixed-till locations. Harvest samples had higher DON concentration than ensiled samples, suggesting that some physical, chemical, or microbiological changes, resulting from ensiling, may reduce DON in storage.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Agronomy and Crop Science
- Plant Science