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HUBBARD FEEDS: MYCOTOXINS: NOT JUST A DAIRY COW ISSUE
Blog by Hubbard Feeds

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It is well-known in the dairy industry that mycotoxins are not to be taken lightly. Mycotoxins take advantage of the wet field conditions and fluctuating feedstuff dry matter that result from heavy rains and flooding and begin to grow both in the field and in storage containers. Eventually, these feedstuffs are consumed by dairy animals and wreak havoc on production, performance and health.

What are mycotoxins?
Mycotoxins are toxins produced by molds and fungi. They are common within the feed industry, and their growth can begin anywhere in the production cycle where molds may exist - from crops in the field to the grain or feed in storage before feeding. With more than 500 known strains of mycotoxins, they are rarely found alone. Unfortunately, contamination by multiple mycotoxins can have an even more profound effect on animal performance and health than if they were found alone.

The ability to minimize the mycotoxins that are present depends on many factors, including:

Harvest conditions - proper dry matter for adequate packing and storing
Storage conditions - cool, dry storage for grains; proper fermentation and oxygen barriers for forages
Weather
Agronomic practices, as mold spores may be present in the soil and plant debris
Plant stress - drought or flooding


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