Heavy rain is forecast for this weekend, meaning winter wheat growers must be aware of the increased mycotoxin risk, the HGCA has warned.

“With the winter wheat harvest well underway, HGCA is reminding growers to keep track of rainfall for their mycotoxin risk assessment, following the onset of more unsettled weather,” said the association’s Dr Dhan Bhandari.

Rainfall from growth stage 87 until harvest was a crucial determiner of mycotoxin risk. “Significant rainfall in the final days before harvest can have a big impact on the final risk score.”

See also: Upload your harvest photos to our Harvest Highlights gallery.

Localised storms meant large amounts of rain could fall in a short period of time, with 15mm of rain recorded at Banbury’s trial site last Thursday, despite the rest of the week being almost completely dry.

“Because rainfall can be highly localised, it’s important to keep track of rainfall on a field by field basis to manage mycotoxin risk,” said Dr Bhandari.

“When grain from different parts of a farm has different risk scores, it is important to keep it segregated if at all possible. In mixed lots, the highest risk score from any of the component parts should be used for the whole lot.”

HGCA’s Harvest Toolkit www.hgca.com contains further information on mycotoxins, grain sampling and storage to ensure quality at harvest is maintained in store.