Mycotoxin-related threats to the health and performance of farm animals continue to pose a challenge to the industry, according to the newly released annual results of the 2017 "BIOMIN Mycotoxin Survey."
"While the exact mycotoxin contamination pattern varies from one region to another and from one farm to the next, the results indicate that the mycotoxin threat should not be ignored," cautioned Ines Taschl, mycotoxin risk management product manager at BIOMIN.
Of the 18,757 finished feed and raw commodity samples sourced from 72 countries, a full 62% of samples had at least one mycotoxin present in sufficient concentrations to pose a risk to animal health or performance, BIOMIN said.
"In light of these contamination levels, it is advisable to regularly test feed ingredients and adopt a robust mycotoxin risk management program," Taschl said.
Average concentrations of fumonisins in corn (maize) have risen from 993 parts per billion in 2015 to 3,095 in 2017, BIOMIN said.
Mycotoxin contamination of soybean meal is higher than in years past, with 83% of samples from South America testing above recommended threshold levels for deoxynivalenol, according to the company.
There has been an increased prevalence of T-2 toxin in cereals and deoxynivalenol in corn versus 2016.
According to BIOMIN, a full 71% of samples contained two or more mycotoxins. Multiple mycotoxin contamination of feed presents additional problems, as certain combinations of mycotoxins are known to have synergistic effects that aggravate the negative consequences for animals.
“The reality is that you’re rarely, if ever, dealing with a single mycotoxin contamination. Mycotoxin contamination typically involves multiple mycotoxins, which can magnify the harm to farm animals” Taschl said. “The best way to protect your animals is to select a mycotoxin solution that relies on multiple strategies to counteract different types of mycotoxins.”
The annual "BIOMIN Mycotoxin Survey" constitutes the longest-running and most comprehensive survey of its kind, using advanced analytic tools on more than 18,757 samples taken from 72 countries worldwide. The survey results provide insights on the incidence of the six major mycotoxins in the agricultural commodities used for livestock feed. More than 73,692 analyses were conducted to identify the presence and potential risk posed to livestock animal production.