OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ State agriculture officials on Friday issued a quarantine on combines used to cut wheat in four Texas counties because of a fungus discovered there.
The fungus, Karnal Bunt, presents no threat to humans but gives bread produced from affected wheat a bad taste and foul odor, said Jack Carson, spokesman for the state Agriculture Department.
In order to enter Oklahoma, the combines would have to be certified by inspectors who were sent to six points of entry in southern Oklahoma, Carson said.
``Essentially they would have to have their equipment steam cleaned and there are cleaning facilities in Texas they can go to,'' Carson said.
Affected by the fungus were Throckmorton, Young, McCullough and San Saba counties in Texas, Carson said.
Carson said the move was needed to protect the integrity of Oklahoma wheat.
``It (fungus) would devastate us economically because our foreign trading partners want to know that any wheat they buy is free from Karnal Dunt,'' he said.
Carson said Karnal Bunt has never been detected in Oklahoma. He said affected wheat could be heat treated and fed to animals.