MOUNT VERNON — The wheat harvest is now in progress in Ohio and Knox County, and wheat growers have had to deal with the production of a toxin that will affect yields and limit the amount of grain available for human consumption as well as for animal feed.
Vomitoxin is one of several substances called myotoxins. It occurs primarily in grains such as wheat, corn (maize), barley, oats and rye, and is the result of scab infested wheat. The occurrence of vomitoxin is associated primarily with Fusarium graminearum and F. culmorum, both of which cause head blight (scab) in wheat.
As of now, the incidence of this myotoxin is not high in the county.
“So far this year, as far as I know, we haven’t had a whole lot of it,” said Troy Cooper of the OSU Knox County Extension Office. “We had some fields rejected last year, and it’s starting to come back this year.”
“There has been some head scab in the wheat this year and that leads to the production of the vomitoxin,” said Extension educator John Barker. “I talked to one guy yesterday and he hadn’t been hit that hard by it. His yield had been reduced 15 to 20 bushels an acre because of the head scab. But his vomitoxin levels were not that bad, yet.”