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Nebraska encourages producers, feed manufacturers to watch mycotoxin levels in grain

Test results from Nebraska Department of Agriculture show increased presence of fumonisin in several grain samples in state.

November 17, 2018

1 Min Read
Nebraska encourages producers, feed manufacturers to watch mycotoxin levels in grain

The Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA) is encouraging producers and feed manufacturers to be mindful of mycotoxin levels in corn being fed to livestock this winter. Mycotoxins are naturally occurring mold fungi that affect corn.

“Summer drought, coupled with wet harvest conditions, creates a high risk for mycotoxins to grow,” NDA director Steve Wellman said. “Fortunately, we have not seen alarming concentrations of mycotoxins in Nebraska like our neighboring states, but it is important for producers to remain vigilant to help protect the safety and well-being of their livestock herds.”

NDA Animal & Plant Health inspectors collect corn samples at grain elevators across the state each year during harvest. The NDA laboratory tests the samples for mycotoxins, including aflatoxin and fumonisin, as part of a collaborative effort between NDA and the Food & Drug Administration.

NDA said test results this year showed no detectable levels of aflatoxin but did indicate an increased presence of fumonisin in several of the samples.

Feedstuffs with a high enough concentration of fumonisin can cause harm or even death to livestock that consume them, NDA said, and the most susceptible animals include horses, rabbits and swine. Cattle and poultry seem to have a higher tolerance for fumonisin. FDA has established safe feeding recommendations for grains containing significant levels of fumonisin, and those recommendations can be found here: https://tinyurl.com/ybdj2z7l.

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