CANADA - The University of Saskatchewan is advising swine producers to avoid feeding grain that appears to have signs of mould, writes Bruce Cochrane.
Unusually high amounts of rain this year has resulted in higher incidents of Fusarium Head Blight in Manitoba and Saskatchewan.
Dr Denise Beaulieu, an Assistant Professor in Monogastric Nutrition with the University of Saskatchewan, explains Fusarium Head Blight produces Deoxynivalenol, or DON, a mycoxtin that can cause depressed feed intake, decreased growth and in very severe situations death.
Dr Denise Beaulieu-University of Saskatchewan:
Try not to feed grain that looks moldy.
The presence of the mould is evidence that the mycotoxin could be there.
It's not definite but certainly, if you see mould, that means that there could be mycotoxins.
If they suspect mycotoxins, one of the things they could do is analyze their grains and look for the presence of the mycotoxins but, there again, because sampling is difficult and the analysis is relatively expensive that's not always a practical solution.
For feeding we're really looking at whether the mycotoxin is there or not and whether it's high or low.
We don't need a really really accurate analysis. So this issue is getting a really good sample.
If the grain is being for example blown into a bin or augured into a bin that would be the time to get a good sample, so you can sample periodically as it's going in.
If it's being made into diets, when the diet is coming out of the mill or when it's being pelleted taking periodic samples throughout is the best.
But, because it's the result of a mould, those moulds can be in pockets throughout a grain bin and that makes it really challenging to get a good sample.
The Canadian Food inspection Agency recommends not exceeding one part per million of DON for all classes of pigs.
Dr Beaulieu says, because we're dealing with such small concentrations, it's really hard to know how much there is because it is so hard to get a good analysis.
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