Severe weather across the U.S. resulting in high risk for mycotoxins

Each growing season can present its own unique challenges, from hot temperatures and drought to excess rainfall and flooding. Extreme weather conditions can not only reduce yield but also delay harvest, increase plant stress and lead to future issues for the crop, including molds and mycotoxins.

Mycotoxins are a concern for livestock producers, as they influence feed quality and animal safety. They are produced by certain species of molds and can have toxic properties that impact animal health and performance. Harvest samples from across the U.S. are currently being submitted to the Alltech 37+® mycotoxin analytical services laboratory, and the analysis is showing high levels of mycotoxins, as in past years, of DON, fusaric acid and fumonisin, as well as HT-2 this year.

“The extreme weather events that we’ve seen across the U.S. this year present different challenges, different types of molds and different types of mycotoxins,” said Dr. Max Hawkins, nutritionist with the Alltech® Mycotoxin Management team. “And we monitor those risks with our harvest analysis through the Alltech 37+® mycotoxin tests to evaluate risk to livestock health and performance.”

Mycotoxins are seldom found in isolation, and when multiple mycotoxins are consumed, they may have additive, or even synergistic, interactions that increase the overall risk to performance and health. As a result, an animal may have a stronger response than what would be expected if it was only experiencing a single mycotoxin challenge. In 2017, 95 percent of samples submitted tested positive for at least five mycotoxins.

Testing feedstuffs and finished feeds is important to understand the risk of mycotoxins, so Alltech is currently offering a free 37+® mycotoxin test to producers. Visit knowmycotoxins.com/freetest for more information.

Alltech will host a United States Corn Silage Report webinar with Dr. Max Hawkins on Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2018, at 3:00 p.m. CST. Register for the webinar via this link.

Hawkins and John Winchell, territory sales representative for Alltech, recently appeared on Rural America Live to speak about mycotoxin risks. Watch the video here.

For more information on mycotoxin management, visit knowmycotoxins.com.

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