Table 1: Identification Keys for Economically Important Ear Rots:

DiseaseSymptomEnvironmental ConditionsEar occurrenceMycotoxin
Aspergillus Ear RotYellow to olive-green sporesHot, dry conditions (86ºF)Top/tip of the earAflatoxins
Diplodia Ear RotWhite mold (early) grayish brown mold (late)Dry weather followed by wet conditions during R1 (silking)Base of the earNone
Fusarium Ear RotWhite to salmon/purple cottony moldMost severe under high temperatures (above 77ºF) and variable moistureIndividual or group of kernels on earFumonisins
Gibberella Ear RotPink to reddish moldMost severe under cool and wet conditions after R1Top of the earZearalenone and Deoxynivalenol


Table 2. Mycotoxins Action or Advisory Levels:

Intended Use CategoryFumonisins (ppm)Aflatoxin (ppb)Deoxynivalenol (ppm)
Humans2 - 4201
Milk for Humans-0.5-
Beef Cattle6030010
Dairy Cattle-205
Other Animals10205