Excessive aflatoxin levels in corn grain and silage can be detrimental to dairy animals of any age. However, clinical signs of toxicity are generally more pronounced in younger animals, explains David Wilson, extension veterinarian at Utah State University.

In the September 2012 Utah State University Dairy Veterinary Newsletter, Wilson shares a list of the clinical symptoms associated with aflatoxicosis.

"The key to avoiding it is testing feed levels, and ideally feeding aflatoxin-free feed," Wilson writes. "However, in drought conditions like this year, feeding some aflatoxin can be virtually impossible to avoid."

Wilson also discusses clinical signs of nitrate poisoning in livestock, which also is a concern in a drought year.

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Source: Dairy Veterinary Newsletter, September 2012