Wheat Producers Advised to Test for Fusarium

by 5m Editor
12 September 2008, at 10:28am

CANADA - Manitoba Agriculture is advising swine producers to have feed grain samples tested for fusarium head blight contamination, writes Bruce Cochrane.

Fursarium is most often found in wheat but it can also affect barley, oats, rye and other feed grains.

Conditions ideal for fusarium development have resulted in widespread infection in Manitoba this year with reports of levels of deoxynivalenon, or DON, the mycotoxin produced by the fungus, as high as 15 to 16 parts per million in red spring wheat.

Dauphin based farm production extension specialist Ron Bazylo says swine can not tolerate high levels of DON.

Ron Bazylo-Manitoba Agriculture Food and Rural Initiatives

It's been shown that levels above one part per million in a complete feed will result in some feed refusal.

If you have levels anywhere from one to two parts per million you'll get a feed refusal of five percent and if it's low levels such as four parts per million you can get feed refusal of up to 25 percent. It really affects swine more greatly than any other species.

The mycotoxin itself doesn't appear to have strong reproductive effects but we don't recommend feeding it to any dry sows or lactating sows. We try and keep these levels below one part per million for pigs. Other species can tolerate higher levels.

The guidelines from Agriculture Canada for growing beef cattle and sheep for instance, they can go up to levels of five parts per million.

Affected grain has been fed to pregnant cows and ewes at levels up to ten parts per million without any affects on reproduction performance so other species can handle higher levels.

Bazylo recommends sourcing feed grains from producers who have had samples tested for mycotoxins and, if they're feeding their own grain, to have it tested.

He notes there are two labs in the Winnipeg able to conduct the necessary testing.

5m Editor