Delays in the North American corn harvest have increased concerns about mycotoxin contamination, particularly toxins produced by Fusarium molds including DON (vomitoxin), zearalenone, and fusaric acid.
Store infested corn at about 13% moisture instead of the more typical 15% to deter further mold growth, recommends Alison Robertson, Iowa State University plant pathologist. "Cleaning the grain with a rotary cleaner can reduce mycotoxin levels by removing fines, which tend to have higher mycotoxin levels than whole kernels. Grain from fields with obvious mold problems should be tested for mycotoxin contamination. Don't store corn with mycotoxins beyond winter.”
All animals are susceptible to certain mycotoxins, and dairy producers should be particularly sensitive to mycotoxins, Robertson adds. It is recommended that feed not contain more than a total of 10 parts per million (ppm) of fumonisins for hogs and 30 ppm for cattle; FDA advisory limits are 5 ppm for hogs and 10 ppm for cattle.
If you are feeding contaminated corn, you may want to look into Mycosorb, a feed additive made by Alltech of Lexington, Ky. A mix of minerals and a product manufactured with a patented process from yeast cell walls, it captures mycotoxins in the animal's gut.
For More Information
Call Alltech's mycotoxin hotline at 866-322-3483
(The hotline is designed to provide producers and feed mill professionals a quick route to answers and a centralized point of access to references and industry experts)