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Corn Ear Molds & Grain Storage

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Alex Johnson, CCA
Team Sales Agronomist

Beck’s Hybrids

Although ear molds like Giberella and Diplodia infect the
ear at or near pollination, now is the point in the season
when we see the mold start to show up as we walk fields
and husk back ears. These molds continue to multiply in the
moist environment within the husk during grain maturation
and drydown. We have not seen alarming amounts of ear
mold yet, just scattered ears with small amounts of mold.
The cool, wet conditions we had at pollination may favor
Gibberella and Diplodia infection.

Signs of Ear Mold:
• Diplodia: White mold more at the butt of the ear
• Gibberella: Red-pink and white mold shows more at the
tip of the ear; causes vomitoxin

• Fusarium: Scattered, moldy kernels and sometimes a
“starburst” on the kernel; causes the mycotoxin fumonisin
3. Proper Temperature: Lower temps mean less biological
activity including molds, insects and seed respiration.
The other reason temperature is important is moisture
migration. When one area of the grain storage is warmer
than another, moisture will migrate to the top center of
the bin as air flows through the bin. Frost on the underside
of the bin roof can be a tipoff that moisture migration is
happening in your bin. Grain kept within 15 to 20 percent
of average daily temperature will be less likely to migrate
moisture.