Saline County Nebraska extension educator Randy Pryor reports that black mold is appearing in corn fields throughout the Southeast Nebraska area. Pryor said the black mold is an alternaria that has also been reported in dormant grasses. Different samples have been sent to the University of Nebraska plant pathology lab for more extensive testing. While the name seems ominous, health care professionals and University of Nebraska-Lincoln extension educators say the fungi shouldn’t pose a threat to humans or animals.
Pryor said the corn in the fields that has black mold will not be problematic for cattle grazing when dealing with black mold infested corn.
Farmers should consider wearing masks to help filter the air they breathe. Black mold, while not toxic, can be irritating to people with allergies. Black mold spores could affect humans with allergies or compromised immune systems, farmers should exercise basic precautions.