Farmers are being warned to keep their eyes peeled for signs of contamination in feed after sampling has shown high mycotoxin risk levels.
UK-wide sampling carried out by Alltech has shown that 46% of total mixed rations (TMR) produced in spring-summer have a moderate to high mycotoxin risk.
“The most common types of mycotoxin found were the Type A Trichothecenes and the Penicilliums,” explains Bob Kendal, North England ruminant manager at Alltech.
“Penicilliums are found in silages and are of particular concern for ruminants. The mould starts life white in colour before developing a blue/grey/green colour and, as the name suggests, can have an antibiotic effect on rumen bacteria.
“This manifests itself as acidosis-like symptoms, dung consistency and sudden drops in milk.
“Type A Trichothecenes includes T-2 toxin which can have a serious effect on the gut of the cow and reduce intakes and performance.”