Mycotoxin contamination of corn (brit maize) has become a key issue for food safety in Europe. Insect damage is a key factor in following fungal contamination and mycotoxin build-up. Studies carried out in Italy demonstrate the good efficacy of pyrethroids in reducing the level of mycotoxins. They also confirm the support provided by fungicides. Corn can be seriously affected by mycotoxigenic fungi. A direct link has been confirmed between fungi, mycotoxins and insects damaging maize, above all Ostrinia nubilalis, the European corn borer. A five year study in northern Italy established the support of insecticides and fungicides in reducing mycotoxin contamination. The level of Fumonisin B1 can be reduced with effective control of O. nubilalis. Spray applications against Fusarium verticillioides were mainly relevant in high risk conditions where it is difficult not to exceed the legal limit. The combination of fungal and insect pest control and application of the mixture during silk browning (BBCH 67) is defined as the most promising approach. Deltamethrin has been shown to have good efficacy. The combination of pyrethroids and chitin synthesis inhibitors further improves results
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)227-242
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • Fusarium verticilloides
  • fumonisins
  • pesticides

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