CANADA - Pork producers are being reminded to be cognizant of the potential presence of mycotoxins caused by moulds in feedgrains, writes Bruce Cochrane.
Last year mycotoxins produced by moulds in grain was a chronic problem in western Canada and, while it appears the problem may not be as severe this year, producers are being advised to be vigilant.
The mycotoxins of primary concern in western Canada are Deoxynivalenol, commonly known as DON or vomitoxin, and Ergot both of which will result in reduced feed intake and poor performance.
Dr Denise Beaulieu, a research scientist nutrition with the Prairie Swine Centre, says the younger animals tend to be more susceptible and grains contaminated by these compounds should be kept out of feed formulated for the breeding herd.
Dr Denise Beaulieu-Swine Centre:
We did some work with ergot several years ago trying to look at what levels we could feed the grow finish pigs before we have no negative effects.
With ergot you could go down very very low and, as low as we could go and possibly formulate the diets, we still saw issues with some of the hormonal responses of these baby piglets so it's difficult to put a safety margin on with the ergot.
With Deoxynivalenol we know that some levels in the diet are O.K.
CFIA recommends around 1 ppm and we've been working with some potential feed additives that might make some of the effects seem less obvious.
There are some binders that may or may not work as well with Deoxynivalenol.
We haven't had really great luck with them but some of the other feed additives, for example maybe some of the animal byproducts like plasmas, that have a positive effect on the gut and we think that these may provide some measures of protection again Deoxynivalenol.
Dr Beaulieu says most pork producers are aware of this problem but it is an ongoing concern.
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