2014 – Grain Contamination (Victoria) – Flutriafol

Cross-contamination of grain from fungicide-treated fertiliser


The Victorian Department of Environment and Primary Industries (DEPI) has reported two cases of grain contaminated with the fungicide flutriafol, where flutriafol-treated fertiliser had previously been used in equipment used to handle or store the grain.

In one case a farmer treated fertiliser with flutriafol as it was transferring via an auger to a truck. The truck was swept but the auger was not cleaned or decontaminated. Canola grain was later transferred via the auger to the truck, and when tested showed levels of flutriafol that was 17 times higher than the legal limit.

In the other case a farmer temporarily stored flutriafol-treated fertiliser in a silo, which was not cleaned before later being used to store wheat. The wheat was found to contain levels of flutriafol that are 42 times higher than the legal limit.

These cases illustrate how important it is to thoroughly clean and decontaminate equipment and facilities that are used to handle or store potentially contaminating materials. This does not only apply to grain, but to any food or feed that is handled or transported. Other examples include fresh fruit and vegetables carried in contaminated bins; and processing waste (eg citrus peel, brewers grain, etc) that is carried in trucks or bins and fed to animals.