2013 harvest analysis detects mycotoxin threat

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All of the corn and corn silage samples submitted during the 2013 harvest tested positive for multiple mycotoxins, according to a recent harvest analysis conducted by Alltech, a global animal health and nutrition company.

The Alltech Harvest Analysis North America (HANA) survey tested 101 samples from across the United States and Canada and demonstrated the need for producers to implement a mycotoxin management program to monitor the effects of toxins on all species throughout 2014. Despite more rainfall across the Corn Belt and yields pushing record production, farmers must consider quality rather than quantity. Quality not only includes nutritive value but also the presence and levels of mycotoxins in this year’s crop.

Samples sent in from across the U.S. and Canada show that corn silage yields and corn grain tested positive for multiple mycotoxins (Figure 1).This follows what is being observed in that a greater percentage of feeds and feedstuffs are contaminated with multiple mycotoxins. The breakdowns for corn silage and corn (Figure 2 and 3) are almost identical in that Fumonisin is the most prominent mycotoxin and is followed by Fusaric Acid and Type B Trichothecenes.

Type B Trichothecenes are present at low risk levels in both corn silage and corn grain in the average sample and may be considered at safe levels by many producers. However, the second most prevalent mycotoxin is Fusaric Acid, and Fusaric Acid will act synergistically with DON to magnify the effects of DON.

“What appears to be a relatively safe, low risk level of Type B Trichothecenes may be elevated to a moderate risk by Fusaric Acid. This effect will be manifested as lower dry matter intake, decreased rate of gain, gut irritation and lowered immune response,” said Dr. Max Hawkins, nutritionist with Alltech’s Mycotoxin Mangement Team.

Many times it is not an acute case that can be readily identified, but a chronic situation associated with the ingestion of a low level of mycotoxins over an extended period of time. This results in a wide array of subclinical symptoms that slowly reduce performance, eat away at the producer’s bottom line and compromise herd health.

“Producers need to implement a mycotoxin control program now to reduce the threat to their herds,” Hawkins said. “This is the time to be proactive.”

Hawkins said to be aware of the effects of multiple mycotoxins, implement a mycotoxin control program and stay vigilant with storage management for the new crops.

Figure 1

Figure 2

Figure 3



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Gary Pusillo    
Iowa  |  November, 23, 2013 at 09:33 AM

Is there a way Figure 1-3 can be added to the article? Mycotoxins have become an ever increasing problem with conventionally grown grains and forages in the last 30 years. It is time to discuss the causes for the steady increase in mycotoxins, and to define known techniques to deal with the situation in animal and human foods. This article states that all the samples for corn and corn silage submitted to Alltech have mycotoxin contamination, suggesting that there is no real need to test anymore; rather a mycotoxin management program needs to be implemented. Mold and mycotoxin management programs should not be an optional service provided by Veterinarians and professional nutritionists; they should be standard practices.

AC    
November, 23, 2013 at 05:38 PM

Very interested in seeing the graphics too! I have noticed steadily increasing signs of molds on plants and even farmstead buildings every growing season since switching to no-till 15 yrs ago. Leaving crop residue to improve soil organic matter and erosion control is desirable but allows for more potential issues with molds and mycotoxins.


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