Aspergillus spores are everywhere, so infection can occur at almost any time pre- and post-harvest. To reduce the risks, it is important to focus on when the conditions are favorable for infection. Greater infection by the fungus means greater risk for aflatoxin.
By understanding when infection is most likely, researchers design interventions to reduce the chance of fungus.
Those times include:
- In the field, especially at the end of the growing season
- In the field when harvest is delayed
- As the plants are dried after digging
- As pods are dried
- In storage