A mycotoxin heads-up

By Hay and Forage Grower

Mycotoxins are toxic metabolic by-products of fungi. They have haunted the livestock industry for many years.

It’s nearly impossible to predict or know for sure that mycotoxin problems exist without testing. Molds may be visible without there being concerning mycotoxin levels, or there can be no visible molds with high levels of mycotoxins. Certain types of mycotoxins such as aflatoxin and T-2 are especially problematic from a livestock health perspective.

Fungal growth in crops is often precipitated by plant stress (for example, drought or a lack of soil fertility) or when environmental conditions favor mold growth over an extended period, as might be the case when silage or grain harvest is delayed by wet weather.

Last week, Rock River Laboratory shared the results of corn grain, corn silage, and TMR samples analyzed by the lab from October 1 through November 18. John Goeser, animal nutrition and research director, noted that some of the levels are “concerning.”

The results summary is presented below.