Alltech's recent storage analysis indicates a rising risk for mold and mycotoxin growth.
Just because the crop is in the bin doesn’t mean it is out of harm’s way. During the past 10 months, Alltech has initiated its 37+ mycotoxin analysis program to identify the presence and levels of mycotoxins in feeds and stored feedstuffs from the 2013 harvested crop. Temperature, moisture, oxygen and crop damage during storage can create an environment where molds can produce additional post-harvest mycotoxins.
For example, Max Hawkins, a nutritionist with Alltech's Mycotoxin Management Team, says corn silage for 2013 saw a great deal of variation within the crop.
"All samples analyzed from September 2013 to June 2014 (123 total) had an average of 8.46 mycotoxins per sample. The predominant mycotoxins were Type B Trichothecenes, Fusaric Acid and Fumonisins," he says.
Hawkins says analyses developed by Alltech’s mycotoxin management research team looks at the overall risk associated with all of the mycotoxins present. At harvest, this risk was considered to be at a cautionary level for corn silage samples at harvest, but has since increased to a high-risk level.
"These mycotoxins can affect dry matter intake, milk production, milk components, rumen function, gut and organ health and immune response," he says.
Alltech's Analytical Services laboratory also analyzed 159 corn samples in the 37+ survey and found an average of eight mycotoxins per sample. The main mycotoxins present included Type B Trichothecenes, Fusaric Acid and Fumonisin.
The storage analysis led to several conclusions, Hawkins says:
• Beef cattle have a higher threshold because of lower dry matter intake and production stress as compared to a dairy cow.
• Grow/finish pigs could see a slight decrease in growth, gut health and immune response. The risk to sows and nursery pigs is also higher due to performance demands on the sow and immune status in the young nursery pig.
• For poultry, broilers and layers are at moderate risk. Decreases in feed intake, growth, egg production, egg quality, gut health and immune status can be seen over time if left uncontrolled. As with all feed ingredients, the inclusion rate of the corn will determine the mycotoxin contribution to the final diets.
"The main objective is to continually monitor the stored grain for temperature and moisture, to check for mold growth and analyze for mycotoxin production, prior to feeding the grain to livestock and poultry," Hawkins says. "Be aware of the effects of multiple mycotoxins, implement a mycotoxin control program and be prepared for storage management of the new crop in 2014."