Effect of cover crops undersown in maize on the mycotoxin content in maize biomass


  • Antonín Kintl Agricultural Research, Ltd., Zahradní 1, 664 41 Troubsko, Czech Republic https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0031-083X
  • Nikol Zímová Agricultural Research, Ltd., Zahradní 1, 664 41 Troubsko, Czech Republic
  • Martin Brtnický Department of Agrochemistry, Soil Science, Microbiology and Plant Nutrition, Faculty of AgriSciences, Mendel University in Brno, Zemedelska 1, 61300 Brno, Czech Republic
  • Tereza Hammerschmiedt Department of Agrochemistry, Soil Science, Microbiology and Plant Nutrition, Faculty of AgriSciences, Mendel University in Brno, Zemedelska 1, 61300 Brno, Czech Republic
  • Vladimír Smutný Department of Agrosystems and Bioclimatology, Faculty of AgriSciences, Mendel University in Brno, Zemedelska 1, 61300 Brno, Czech Republic
  • David Kincl Department of Pedology and Soil Conservation, Research Institute for Soil and Water Conservation, Prague-Zbraslav, Czech Republic
  • Pavel Nerušil Division of Crop Management Systems, Crop Research Institute, Drnovská 507/73, Ruzyně, Praha 6, 161 06, Czech Republic
  • Igor Huňady Agricultural Research, Ltd., Zahradní 1, 664 41 Troubsko, Czech Republic
  • Jakub Elbl Department of Agrosystems and Bioclimatology, Faculty of AgriSciences, Mendel University in Brno https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6401-1516


mycotoxins, silage, AFL, DON, FUM


The effect of growing maize with undersown crops on the content of mycotoxins in maize biomass was studied. Small plot experiments were conducted in 2019 on two sites with different soil and climatic conditions: Žabčice and Troubsko. Three treatments of intermediate crops (Italian ryegrass; Fodder vetch and a mixture of both) were undersown into the space between the rows of maize. The maize was harvested at a dry matter content of 35% at the Troubsko experimental site and 43% at the Žabčice experimental site. After the harvest of maize, samples of green biomass (shreddings) were dried at 60°C and then analyzed for the content of mycotoxins such as deoxynivalenol (DON), aflatoxin (AF,L), and fumonisin (FUM). An average yield of maize shreddings ranged from 16.50 to 21.57 t/ha of dry matter within the individual treatment. The contents of mycotoxins from the sites differed in their statistical significance, and both experimental sites showed the lowest concentrations of AFL in maize shreddings while average concentrations of FUM and DON were always the highest. In most observations, treatments with the undersown crops reached the same values as the control treatment. Only in one treatment (mixture of Italian rye grass and Fodder vetch), an increase in the AFL content (by 0.3 µg/kg) was detected. Based on the performed analyses, it is possible to state that no adverse influence of undersown crops on the occurrence of mycotoxins in maize shreddings was recorded using the chosen methodology of cultivation. Exceeded limit values for the content of mycotoxins in feeds according to 2006/576/ were not recorded.


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