Check that ration — mycotoxin levels in Ontario corn creeping higher

Early indications from the 2018 corn silage crop indicate that mycotoxins, resulting from disease infection, in corn are and will be a concern heading in to the winter feeding season.

As silage is sometimes the yellow flag ahead of grain corn harvest, agronomists and livestock nutritionists alike are encouraging farmers to get harvest wrapped up as quickly as possible, and get the crop ensiled or dry soon after.

That’s because mycotoxin development — often from fusarium or gibberella infection — continues under warm, wet conditions in the field, bin, or bag.

Ruminant technical services manager with Shur-Gain, Chelsea Gordon, says farmers will need to be testing early in order to keep the toxin parts per million within a safe range this fall and winter.

“Yes, we do have binders, but there’s a limit to how many you can feed through,” Gordon says, adding that total mixed rations (TMR) should likely be tested as a whole first, with ingredient testing done as a follow up if the ration ends up over the 3 ppm threshold.

If you do end up with a higher than ideal toxin reading, it’s important to use all the tools available — such as feeding binders, as mentioned, but also potentially sourcing different ration additions. It’s also important to target less-than-ideal feeds towards those animals in the production cycle that will better tolerate slightly elevated levels.

For example, calves under six months of age or cows in peak lactation will likely be the most sensitive, but Gordon cautions that too-high levels of certain mycotoxins can negatively impact fertility, so plan accordingly.

Hear more on this topic below, as Gordon was a guest on Wednesday’s edition of RealAg Radio:

 

Lyndsey Smith

Lyndsey Smith is a field editor for RealAgriculture. A self-proclaimed agnerd, Lyndsey is passionate about all things farming but is especially thrilled by agronomy and livestock production.

Trending

Wheat prices jump into August — This week in the grain markets

This week, winter wheat prices touched a three-year high, but it didn’t last. Chicago SRW wheat prices for September 2018 gained 5 per cent or about 26 cents US/bushel to close at $5.56. While the December 2018 contract was up 5.4 percent — or nearly 30 cents — to finish a tad under $5.80. In…Read more »

Related

Leave a Reply

 

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.