Research – Mycotoxin survey: Watch out for exposure from dirty maize

Irish Examiner

If you’re feeding maize, you likely have a mycotoxin problem on your farm, delegates at a recent ruminant nutrition were told.

Breaking down the results of this year’s mycotoxin survey, Laura Quinn, Ruminant Technical Species Expert at DSM, said: “When plants get stressed – whether that be drought, weather-related or disease – they can be vulnerable to being attacked by fungi, and mycotoxins are toxic secondary metabolites which are released by the fungi.

“They are in almost all agricultural commodities worldwide. They are very stable, can persist in heat and are resistant to any processing at feed mills.”

Biomin and DSM have run the survey since 2004.

The firm analyses over 20,000 samples a year and offers localised predictions for mycotoxins based on weather patterns.

“Mycotoxins are anti-protozoal, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal, which is great for disinfectant, but considering in the rumen we are trying to use these to break down feed materials to produce milk, we don’t want them having that effect in the cow.”

In dairy animals, mycotoxins have been linked with reduced feed intake, lower milk yields, liver inflammation, lower vaccine efficacy, and lower fatty acid production, among other production and health issues.

There are currently more than 1,000 mycotoxins identified, with more being discovered by scientists all the time.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s