North Carolina Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler is encouraging farmers to have their corn tested for aflatoxin to prevent contamination of feeds and food.

Aflatoxin is a by-product of the mold Aspergillus flavus. It can be harmful to both humans and livestock. “Aflatoxin can cause a lot of problems, so it’s worth a farmer’s time and effort to submit corn samples to the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services for testing,” Troxler said.

Tests are free to farmers and will be conducted at the Constable Laboratory, 4000 Reedy Creek Road in Raleigh. Farmers who are unable to deliver the required 5- to 10-pound sample of shelled corn to the lab may take samples to one of the following agricultural research stations:

• Border Belt Tobacco Research Station, 86 Border Belt Drive, Whiteville, (910) 648-4703; Ty Marshall, superintendent.

• Peanut Belt Tobacco Research Station, 112 Research Station Lane, Lewiston-Woodville, (252) 348-2213; Tommy Corbett, superintendent. Station contact: Margaret Pierce.

• Tidewater Research Station, 207 Research Station Road, Plymouth, (252) 793-4118; Jewell Tetterton, superintendent.

• Lower Coastal Plain Tobacco/Cunningham Research Station, 200 Cunningham Road, Kinston, (252) 527-3579; Phillip Winslow, superintendent.

• Piedmont Research Station, 8350 Sherrills Ford Road, Salisbury, (704) 278-2624; Joe K. Hampton, superintendent.

• Mountain Horticultural Crops Research Station, 74 Research Drive, Fletcher, (828) 684-7197; Denny Thompson, superintendent.

Samples may be mailed directly to the lab at the following address:

North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Food and Drug Protection Division, 1070 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, N.C. 27699-1070