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An experiment was conducted to determine the variability associated with aflatoxin contamination of peanuts from plants grown in specified row lengths. Runner peanuts (cv. Georgia Green) were planted in 10, 76.2 m rows (20 seedm) and grown using standard production practices. Plants were exposed to natural late-season drought conditions making the peanuts susceptible to preharvest aflatoxin contamination. Plants were mechanically dug, inverted, and separated into 500 plots of 1.5 m single rows. Peanuts from each numerically identified plot were harvested with a mechanical picker, dried to 8 kernel moisture (wet basis), shelled, and analyzed for aflatoxin by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). The average kernel mass and weighted average aflatoxin concentration for all plots was 131 g and 2278 ngg, respectively. The kernel mass varied among the 500 plots from a low of 4 g to a maximum of 283 g. The aflatoxin concentration among the 500 plots varied from a low of 0 ngg to a maximum of 32,142 ngg. The standard deviation among the 500 plot aflatoxin values was 4061. The standard deviation among sample concentrations for this field study was very similar to previous studies that measured the standard deviation among sample concentrations taken from bulk farmers' stock lots. Increasing plot length decreased the standard deviation among plot aflatoxin values as predicted by statistical theory. For example, increasing plot row length by a factor of four, or from 1.5 to 6 m, decreased the standard deviation by a factor of two, or from 4061 to 2031. A regression equation was developed to predict the effect of plot row length on the variability among aflatoxin plot values. This information is useful for designing field plot experiments to test various strategies for reducing or preventing preharvest aflatoxin contamination.
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Keywords: Sample variability, field variability, uncertainty, treatment effects, Aspergillus spp
How to Cite:
Whitaker, T. & Dorner, J. & Giesbrecht, F. & Slate, A., (2004) “Variability Among Aflatoxin Test Results on Runner Peanuts Harvested From Small Field Plots¹”, Peanut Science 31(1), p.59-63. doi: https://doi.org/10.3146/pnut.31.1.0012