US feed and livestock producers have more reason to carefully monitor mycotoxin contamination in feed and crops, according to results of the latest Biomin Mycotoxin Survey.
In total, 387 corn samples and 79 distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS) samples were sourced from across the US in 2016. A full 90% of corn samples and 100% of DDGS samples tested positive for at least one mycotoxin.
“The mycotoxin threat was higher in 2016 than in 2015,” stated Dr Raj Murugesan, Technical and Marketing Director of BIOMIN America. “Deoxynivalenol (DON), fumonisins (FUM) and zearalenone (ZEN) in particular present a potential risk to livestock animal production. This gives greater importance to regular monitoring of feed, crops, and silages.
In this year’s survey, deoxynivalenol saw slightly higher occurrence at 75% (72% in 2015) and average contamination levels at 1670 ppb (691 ppb in 2015). Fumonisins’ prevalence reached 72% (52% in 2015) with an average contamination level of 4424 ppb. Zearalenone became much more prevalent at 42% (17% in 2015) while the average contamination also made a jump to 412 ppb from 247 ppb in 2015.
In addition, all 79 DDGS samples tested positive for deoxynivalenol, averaging 2681 ppb. Fumonisins and zearalenone were very prevalent at 88% and 71% of samples, respectively.
“96% of DDGS samples had more than one mycotoxin present in 2016,” noted Dr Paige Gott, Ruminant Technical Manager at Biomin.
“Rainfall during corn’s silking period along with warmer average temperatures are likely to have contributed to greater Fusarium fungi growth,” explained Dr Murugesan. Fusarium fungi can produce several mycotoxins including deoxynivalenol (DON), fumonisins (FUM) and zearalenone (ZEN).
The presence of mycotoxins is associated with poorer feed quality, impaired animal performance and health challenges.
“Certain combinations of mycotoxins are known to have synergistic effects,” warned Dr Murugesan. “That means a magnified negative impact to animals, even at reasonably low levels.”
The annual Biomin Mycotoxin Survey constitutes the longest running and most comprehensive survey of its kind, using advanced analytic tools on more than 16,000 samples taken from 81 countries worldwide. Over 60,000 analyses were conducted to identify the presence and potential risk posed to livestock animal production. Learn more about Biomin.