Prevent molds and mycotoxins

October 9, 2008 07:00 PM
            Preventing molds and mycotoxins in dairy cattle feed is imperative to keep a herd healthy and on track to meet operational goals. Since there are few ways to overcome issues once mycotoxins are present, it is essential to prevent them from creeping into the ration.
            Molds can infect dairy cattle causing a fungal disease, commonly known as mycosis. This most likely occurs during stressful periods when cows have a suppressed immune system.
            Molds can also impact cattle by producing mycotoxins in the feed. Mycotoxins can cause reduced feed intake and nutrient absorption, alter endocrine and exocrine systems, suppress the immune system and alter microbial growth. This can lead to many issues including protein deficiency, malnutrition, diarrhea, irritability, abnormal behavior and occasional death.
            Paul Windchitl, a dairy nutritionist with Hubbard Feeds, offers the following tips to help producers battle against molds and mycotoxins in their operation.
Grain Tips
  • Once harvested, grains should not reach moisture levels greater than 15 percent.
  • Grain stored for more than two weeks should be kept aerated and cool. - Protect feedstuffs against rain and water.
  • Stored feed should be checked periodically to determine if heating and molding is occurring.
Hay Tips
  • Mold growth may occur in hay at moisture levels greater than 15 percent.
  • If moisture levels are high, use a forage treatment, like Silo Guard®, to prevent mold growth.
  • To increase dry down of hay create air spaces between bales, reduce size of stacks, alternate direction of stacking and avoid other wet products in the same area.
Silage Tips
  • Harvested silage should have moisture content between 60 and 70 percent to ensure a good pack.
  • Cut and wilt forage during favorable weather conditions.
  • The chop should be uniform and 1/2 to 1 inch in length for processed silage.
  • Use an effective fermentation aide, such as Sil-All® or Silo Guard. - Pack silage sufficiently and quickly to eliminate air and cover securely.
High Moisture Grains
  • Should be stored at proper moisture content levels to exclude air.
  • Must be handled in quantities which allow them to be fed within 7 days.

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Spell Check

wildwood, FL
8/20/2015 04:18 PM

  While the article is factual it loses it's credibility when the author fails to describe how elevators ( secretly ) over many years of time repeatedly blend in small amounts of moldy corn with good corn as well as other ways they blend it to get rid of it especially when the loss would be huge . This way it sells though as we know it then kills wild life and chickens,birds and called bird flu when many of us know it's simply someone making money not caring if bad things happen others . FACT . In the industry 19 yrs and know it's true and still happening ...


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