Dilute contaminated feed. This can be accomplished with “wholesome” forages and grains, such as alfalfa, barley, or commercial protein supplements and by-products like soy hulls, Hutjens says.
Use an additive or flow agent. There are three general types of flow agents (also known as mycotoxin binders). These include clay-based products, such as those containing bentonite, zeolite or calcium aluminosilicate, as well as products containing yeast cell wall extracts (also known as MOS agents or glucomannans) and those containing enzymes specific to mycotoxin control. Ask your nutritionist to help you determine what commercial product is a good fit for your situation and be sure to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for dietary inclusion levels.
Ammoniate the corn. The process of ammoniation breaks or destroys the structure of the aflatoxin. Ideally, you need to have moisture (>13 percent) and heat (60° F) to cause this chemical reaction, Hutjens says. To accomplish this, seal the contaminated feed in bags or bins and then add ammonia. The level of ammonia to add will vary, depending on the concentration of aflatoxin in the feed. Be aware that the corn will darken because the sugars caramelize during ammoniation. You also may encounter palatability problems, so plan to aerate the feed. And as a safety reminder, be very careful when handling anhydrous ammonia.
Dry the corn. If you have corn yet to harvest, don’t store atrisk wet corn as high-moisture corn this year. “It’s a wonderful environment to grow the aflatoxin,” Hutjens says. “Dry it down below 14 percent moisture.”
A dairy cow secretes about 1 to 2 percent of the aflatoxin she consumes into her milk. Monitor and manage to keep your rations clean and your milk supply wholesome and safe.