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Prediction tool offers European mycotoxin warning

Europe may see high mycotoxin levels in upcoming corn and wheat harvests.

A new statistical analysis announced by Biomin suggests that many parts of Europe can expect potentially harmful levels of mycotoxin contamination in the upcoming 2020 corn (maize) and wheat harvest, Biomin said in an announcement.

One major trend identified in the firm’s first-ever forecast of mycotoxin occurrence is that deoxynivalenol (DON), or vomitoxin, has a high probability to exceed a risk threshold level of 150 parts per billion in corn in central, eastern and southern Europe as well as a similarly high probability to exceed 150 ppb in wheat in northern Europe, Biomin said.

The forecast is based on a proprietary mycotoxin prediction tool that delivers daily assessments of expected mycotoxin levels in corn and wheat harvests.

“Our aim with the Biomin Mycotoxin Prediction Tool is to provide an assessment of likely mycotoxin occurrence as accurate as your daily weather forecast,” Dr. Timothy Jenkins, development scientist at Biomin, explained.

The tool uses sophisticated algorithms that draw upon 15 factors and the extensive proprietary data set compiled through the Biomin Mycotoxin Survey, a long-running and comprehensive survey of mycotoxin occurrence in worldwide animal feed.

“Weather is the single most important factor in terms of predicting mycotoxin occurrence, and it dominates the reasons for year-to-year fluctuations in mycotoxin patterns we observe in a given region,” Jenkins said.

The prediction tool can be useful for feed and animal protein industry professionals -- including integrators, nutritionists, crop farmers, livestock growers, raw commodity purchasers and quality assurance and control professionals -- by offering an early indication of the risk of mycotoxins in crops and feed, the company said.

Based on the prediction tool, weekly updates on the risk of mycotoxins in the European region will be available. The Mycotoxin Prediction Tool generates a predicted risk of fumonisins, aflatoxin, DON and zearalenone in corn and DON and zearalenone in wheat.

Americas

In its first-quarter 2020 report on mycotoxin survey results, Biomin said the mycotoxin risk in Central America is "extreme," with fumonisins and DON found most frequently. Biomin noted that corn in South America was highly contaminated with fumonisin, while DON was the main threat in wheat grains.

In North America, 2020 also started with extreme risk, Biomin said, with DON showing a high prevalence at 82%, followed by fumonisins at 52% and zearalenone at 48%.

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