HIGHER THAN usual levels of pink grains as a result of fusarium ear blight infection in wheat crops have led to an industry wide investigation.

East Anglia and Lincolnshire have been identified as areas where the problem is most severe.

Loads containing pink grains are at risk from rejection at virtually all intake points, producers are told.

The HGCA funded study involves merchants and compounders submitting samples for analysis through an independent laboratory.

“It is important we understand the full impact of the fusarium problems,” said Jon Duffy of Gleadell Agriculture Ltd, and Chairman of AIC‘s Arable Marketing Committee.

“Pink grains in previous years have been shown not to represent a feed safety risk.”

But some end users are concerned the presence of pink grains could lead to production of mycotoxins, such as deoxynivalenol (DON).

DON can have a detrimental effect on grain quality as animal feed, particularly for pigs and poultry, warned industry experts.

“We need to adopt a due diligence approach until we are able to confirm whether the early sample results, which have shown insignificant levels of DON, are repeated across a wider area.”

“Until we can fully determine the science we will continue to take a precautionary approach,” Mark Ringrose, Cereals Manager for BOCM Pauls added.