Centralia ag lab remaining open to test for aflatoxin, nitrates
State officials tell RFD Radio affiliate WJBD in Salem that the grain testing facilities will remain open, but the animal ag section will close as scheduled at the end of August. We have a report from WJBD's Bruce Kropp.
Published: Jul 31, 2012
The state’s Centralia Animal Disease Laboratory will continue providing “essential” crop testing “until further notice,” but not animal disease testing, Acting Illinois Agriculture Director Bob Flider alerted FarmWeekNow.
The Centralia lab will stop providing animal disease testing on Aug. 31 and will transfer those services to the Galesburg Animal Disease Laboratory, Flider said.
“The governor indicated he wants to make sure we have the essential crop testing and toxicology work” available because of the drought, Flider said.
Dr. Gene Niles, the Centralia lab director, said the lab will stop accepting samples for animal disease testing on Aug. 15 and distribute those test results by Aug. 31.
After Aug. 31, the lab would maintain its current business hours “until further notice,” Niles said. The lab will continue to test corn samples for nitrate levels and aflatoxin, he said.
The demand for nitrate testing remains high. On Monday, the lab received 60 samples for nitrate testing. In July, the lab has tested 600 samples for nitrate levels, according to Niles.
Overall, about 4 percent of the tested samples have nitrate levels too high to feed to any animals, Niles estimated.
State fiscal challenges, the reason for the lab changes, remain, Flider noted. “We are finding ways to be more efficient,” he said.
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