North America



Gut Health Management Begins with Good Bacteria at Hatchery

[ATLANTA] – Good or bad, bacteria are always present in the gastrointestinal tract of the bird. Some microorganisms can lead to disease, leaving poultry integrators with high treatment costs and losses in production; while other bacterial communities can be beneficial, colonizing the gut at the expense of pathogenic organisms. When it comes to a healthy flock, it’s the good bacteria and gut health that can make or break a successful poultry operation.

This is the approach global animal health leader Alltech has taken with their new Gut Health Management program, which uses the Seed, Feed, and Weed approach to support animal performance by promoting good bacteria, building natural defenses and maximizing growth and efficiency.

The Seed, Feed, and Weed program developed by Dr. Steve Collett, University of Georgia, is an alternative approach to gut heath that:

  • Seeds the gut with the right bacteria by introducing the proper microorganisms
  • Feeds the good bacteria and maintain a proper environment for them to survive
  • Weeds the unfavorable organisms before they colonize the intestinal tract

When paired with effective bio-security measures, this approach allows the animals to have the best chance for optimal productive performance, even without antibiotic growth promoters.

“As with people, ensuring a good start in life can have a major impact on the future health of young birds,” said Paulo Rigolin, global poultry director for Alltech. “This is why the first step of our program is to give young chicks and poults the right start by introducing the proper microbes in the hatchery.”

Many integrators find the main difficulty in upholding a successful gut health program is ensuring a proper bacterial balance through the life of the birds. Alltech’s program is a combination of feed technologies, technical support and analytical tools to confirm the correct intestinal environment is maintained from hatch to finish. One of the services included is True Check, a unique tool developed by Alltech that helps producers see how effective their feed is at providing nutrients for digestion. Utilizing samples of feed, True Check uses a system that replicates each section of the digestion process, and provides integrators with real diet performance and recommendations to help maximize nutrient release.

“With the right intestinal ecology, the villi will flourish and nutrient absorption will be maximized,” Rigolin said. “This program supports the company’s commitment to partner with integrators to make sure their flocks are performing at their maximum potential.”

 Alltech will officially launch the new Alltech Gut Health Management program to the poultry industry at the International Production and Processing Expo Jan. 27 - 29 in Atlanta, Georgia. For more information on the Alltech Gut Health Management program, producers can visit with an Alltech representative at the company’s booth #A1507.

Pigs Not Going to Market on Time? Examine Gut Health

[DES MOINES] – It’s a continuous race against time and money in the pig barn. Striving for the ultimate goal of getting pigs to market weight as quickly as possible; producers are also racing against the ever-growing cost that comes with each additional day the pigs are not sent to market. Poor gut health can delay marketing, adding further time to reach the desired finishing weight and money for the extra feed that must be purchased.

“Healthy pigs eat better and produce more efficiently. They are more likely to perform to their optimum potential,” said Russell Gilliam, U.S. swine business manager for Alltech. “Addressing gut health and managing it from wean to finish is important for the producer’s bottom line.”

The producer’s goal is that feed purchased is of optimum digestibility by the pig; the reality is that feed supplied and animal performance can vary greatly. Many challenges can affect gut health, from pH levels and feed quality to viruses and diseases. Gilliam said that while these obstacles can be difficult to manage, it is not impossible. Addressing the key phases of gut health, producers can increase the likelihood of their pigs reaching their maximum potential as quickly as possible.

“There are three key phases that we focus on with Alltech’s new Gut Health Management program,” Gilliam said. “The first is getting the animal off to the right start, because they can never get over a good or bad start. Second, it is essential that pigs are getting the most from their feed, ensuring the animals perform at their peak. Finally it is important to build the animal’s natural immunity to prepare it for any challenges that may arise.”

The company will officially launch Alltech Gut Health Management to the swine industry during the Iowa Pork Congress, Jan. 28 and 29 in Des Moines, Iowa. One of the services included in the second phase of the program is True CheckTM, a unique tool developed by Alltech that helps producers see how effective their feed is at providing nutrients for digestion. Utilizing samples of feed, True Check uses a system that mimics real life conditions of the pig’s digestive system. After simulation, samples are compared to show the energy and nutrient release, giving producers the results they can expect from their pigs’ diet. Using NIR (Near Infrared Spectrometer) capabilities, Alltech’s True Check in vitro screening has replicated more than 7,200 hours of pig digestion to date.

For more information on Alltech Gut Health Management, producers can stop at the company’s booth #413 or visit with an Alltech representative at the Producer’s Recognition Reception Wednesday, Jan. 28 from 4 to 6 p.m. in the CCCU Convention Center Grand Ballroom Pre-Function Area.

North America Harvest Analysis Determines Mycotoxins Stealing Ruminant Returns

The results are in and this year’s North America corn silage crop contains a mixture of molds and mycotoxins, putting beef and dairy cattle at high risk for mycotoxin exposure.

[LEXINGTON, Ky.] – The results are in and this year’s North America corn silage crop contains a mixture of molds and mycotoxins, putting beef and dairy cattle at high risk for mycotoxin exposure and performance problems including a 3.5 pound average loss in milk yield, according to a recent survey by Alltech.

A survey of 59 North American corn silage samples from across the United States and Canada from September to November 2014 tested for mycotoxin contamination through Alltech’s 37+TM mycotoxin analysis found an average 6.1 mycotoxins per sample. This year’s analysis took the information from the survey one step further, revealing the costs associated from mycotoxin contamination and what dairy and beef producers can save by utilizing Alltech Mycotoxin Management.

“Based on Alltech’s 37+ results of the 2014 harvest of corn silage, we see that the risk of mycotoxins to dairy cows is high. Scientific literature shows that at a similar risk level; cows may produce 3.5 pounds (1.6 L)/milk/day less when consuming mycotoxins,” said Dr. Alexandra Weaver, Alltech Mycotoxin Management Team. “Additionally, milk somatic cell count was shown to increase by 39 percent. With this loss of performance, the reduction in profitability per cow is an estimated decrease of $1.54/day.”

Weaver examined more than 90 peer-reviewed papers on the cost implications mycotoxins can have on animal production. An analysis is still underway on the costs associated with mycotoxicoses in beef cattle.

“Deductions in milk yield and rising SCC numbers may not be observable on a daily basis, but producers will notice the difference in production at the milk tank,” Weaver said. “By utilizing Alltech’s 37+ mycotoxin analysis and the Alltech MIKO program, we can better identify mold and mycotoxins present in grains and stored feedstuffs and pinpoint potential risks to production and economic returns.”

Many times it is not an acute case that can be readily identified, but a chronic situation associated with the ingestion of a low level of mycotoxins over an extended period of time. This results in a wide array of subclinical symptoms that slowly reduce performance, eat away at the producer’s bottom line and compromise animal health.

“While we boasted a record crop this year, quantity does not determine quality,” said Dr. Max Hawkins, nutritionist with Alltech’s Mycotoxin Management Team. “This year’s cool, wet weather delayed planting and harvesting and now that harvest is complete, we are dealing with storage and transportation issues that are putting the 2014 crop at additional risk for mycotoxin growth.”

Hawkins said while Midwest samples contained more mycotoxins with an average 6.7 per sample, East Coast and Canadian grains still should be a concern for cattle producers as Alltech’s Risk Equivalent Quantity (REQ) puts North America corn silage at a moderate to high risk level.  The REQ is an evaluation of the total toxicity of a given mycotoxin mixture based on the amount of individual mycotoxins in reference to Aflatoxin B1. The average REQ for this year’s corn silage is 276 for dairy and 220 for beef, putting both groups at high risk.

“Mycotoxins can impact the whole body. Even low levels of mycotoxins can impact performance and multiple mycotoxins increase that risk,” Hawkins said. “We must remember corn silage is only one ingredient in the ration; other feedstuffs can introduce additional mycotoxins.”

North America Harvest Analysis Determines Mycotoxins Stealing Poultry Profits

Results from Alltech’s 37+™ analysis show the North American corn crop contained an average 4.6 mycotoxins per sample, exhibiting a medium level risk equivalent quantity for broilers, layers and breeders.

[LEXINGTON, Ky.] – The results are in and this year’s North America corn crop contains a mixture of molds and mycotoxins, putting broilers and layers at risk for mycotoxin exposure and a 5 percent loss in average daily gain, according to a recent survey by Alltech.

A survey of 46 North American corn samples from across the United States and Canada from September to November 2014 tested for mycotoxin contamination through Alltech’s 37+™ mycotoxin analysis found an average 4.6 mycotoxins per sample. This year’s analysis took the information from the survey one step further, revealing the costs associated from mycotoxin contamination and what poultry producers can save by utilizing Alltech Mycotoxin Management.

“Based on Alltech’s 37+ results of the 2014 corn harvest, we see that the risk of mycotoxins to broilers is moderate. Scientific literature shows that at a similar risk level, broilers may have a 5.3 percent reduction in average daily gain when consuming mycotoxins,” said Dr. Alexandra Weaver, Alltech Mycotoxin Management Team. “Additionally, feed conversion rate (FCR) may increase by about 2.6 percent. With this loss of performance, the reduction in net return for broilers is an estimated decrease of $0.18 per bird.”

Weaver, who examined more than 90 peer-reviewed papers, said on average mycotoxins cost the broiler industry a 5.1 gram decrease in average daily gain per day and a 0.11 increase in FCR, resulting in a deficit of $0.34 per bird. For layers, Weaver calculates the average shortfall is 1.7 eggs lost per week, a 0.38 increase in FCR and an overall loss of $0.14 per hen per week.

“A 5 percent loss in average daily gain may not be observable on a daily basis, but producers will notice the difference in body weight and inefficiency in carcass processing at market,” Weaver said. “By utilizing Alltech’s 37+ mycotoxin analysis and the Alltech MIKO program, we can better identify mold and mycotoxins present in grains and stored feedstuffs and pinpoint potential risks to production and economic returns.”

Many times it is not an acute case that can be readily identified, but a chronic situation associated with the ingestion of a low level of mycotoxins over an extended period of time. This results in a wide array of subclinical symptoms that slowly reduce performance, eat away at the producer’s bottom line and compromise animal health.

 “While we boasted a record crop this year, quantity does not determine quality,” said Dr. Max Hawkins, nutritionist with Alltech’s Mycotoxin Management Team. “This year’s cool, wet weather delayed planting and harvesting and now that harvest is complete, we are dealing with storage and transportation issues that are putting the 2014 crop at additional risk for mycotoxin growth.”

Hawkins said while East Coast samples contained more mycotoxins with an average 5.7 per sample, Midwest and Canadian grains still should be a concern for poultry producers as Alltech’s Risk Equivalent Quantity (REQ) puts North America corn at a moderate to high risk level.  The REQ is an evaluation of the total toxicity of a given mycotoxin mixture based on the amount of individual mycotoxins in reference to Aflatoxin B1. For broilers, the average REQ for this year’s corn crop is 77, putting the poultry sector at a higher risk.

“Mycotoxins can impact the whole body. Even low levels of mycotoxins can impact performance and multiple mycotoxins increase that risk,” Hawkins said. “We must remember corn is only one ingredient in the ration; other feedstuffs can introduce additional mycotoxins.”

North America Harvest Analysis Determines Mycotoxins Stealing Pig Profits

Results from Alltech’s 37+™ analysis show the North American corn crop contained an average 4.6 mycotoxins per sample, exhibiting a high level risk equivalent quantity for sows, nursery and finishing pigs.

[LEXINGTON, Ky.] – The results are in and this year’s North America corn crop contains a mixture of molds and mycotoxins, putting nursery, sow and finishing pigs at risk for mycotoxin exposure and a 6 percent loss in average daily gain, according to a recent survey by Alltech.

A survey of 46 North American corn samples from across the United States and Canada from September to November 2014 tested for mycotoxin contamination through Alltech’s 37+™ mycotoxin analysis found an average 4.6 mycotoxins per sample. This year’s analysis took the information from the survey one step further, revealing the costs associated from mycotoxin contamination and what pork producers can save by utilizing Alltech Mycotoxin Management.

“Based on Alltech’s 37+ results of the 2014 corn harvest, we see that the risk of mycotoxins to pigs is high. Scientific literature shows that at a similar risk level, nursery pigs may have a 6.3 percent reduction in average daily gain when consuming mycotoxins,” said Dr. Alexandra Weaver, Alltech Mycotoxin Management Team. “Additionally, feed conversion rate may be increase by about 4 percent. With this loss of performance, the reduction in net return per nursery pig is an estimated decrease of $4.21.”

Weaver, who examined more than 90 peer-reviewed papers, said mycotoxins on average cost nursery pig producers an 81 gram decrease in average daily gain, a 0.13 increase in feed conversion rate (FCR) and a loss of $7.42 per pig. From the trial analysis, Weaver concluded finishing hogs on average experience a 143 gram decrease in average daily gain and a 0.96 increase in FCR, resulting in a shortfall of $5.79 per pig. Sows affected by mycotoxin exposure lose an average 1.13 piglets per farrowing and 4.23 percent more are born dead. Weaver calculates mycotoxins cost sow producers $21.79 per litter.

“A 6 percent loss in average daily gain may not be observable on a daily basis, but producers will notice the different in body weight and increased days to market,” Weaver said. “By utilizing Alltech’s 37+ mycotoxin analysis and the Alltech MIKO program, we can better identify mold and mycotoxins present in grains and stored feedstuffs and pinpoint potential risks to production and economic returns.”

Many times it is not an acute case that can be readily identified, but a chronic situation associated with the ingestion of a low level of mycotoxins over an extended period of time. This results in a wide array of subclinical symptoms that slowly reduce performance, eat away at the producer’s bottom line and compromise animal health.

“While we boasted a record crop this year, quantity does not determine quality,” said Dr. Max Hawkins, nutritionist with Alltech’s Mycotoxin Management Team. “This year’s cool, wet weather delayed planting and harvesting and now that harvest is complete, we are dealing with storage and transportation issues that are putting the 2014 crop at additional risk for mycotoxin growth.”

Hawkins said while East Coast samples contained more mycotoxins with an average 5.7 per sample, Midwest and Canadian grains still should be a concern for the swine industry as Alltech’s Risk Equivalent Quantity (REQ) puts North America corn at a moderate to high risk level.  The REQ is an evaluation of the total toxicity of a given mycotoxin mixture based on the amount of individual mycotoxins in reference to Aflatoxin B1. For nursery pigs, this year’s corn crop poses a high risk REQ for Type B Trichothecenes.

 “Mycotoxins can impact the whole body. Even low levels of mycotoxins can impact performance and multiple mycotoxins increase that risk,” Hawkins said. “We must remember corn is only one ingredient in the ration; other feedstuffs can introduce additional mycotoxins.”

  • Alltech Rebelation Week

    A celebration of all things entrepreneurship, business and marketing, and the role of science and agriculture: Mark your calendars for May 16-20 in Lexington, Kentucky, for Alltech’s “Rebelation” Week of innovation, inspiration and world-changing ideas.

  • Alltech Dairy School: Invest Today for Profitability Tomorrow

    Tom Lorenzen, Alltech On-farm Specialist, encouraged dairy producers to take a Sherlock Holmes investigative approach to herd health and environment during his presentation at Alltech’s 11th Annual Dairy School at Lambeau Field, Green Bay, Wisconsin.

    [GREEN BAY, Wis.] – More than 250 farmers, nutritionists and industry professionals descended upon Lambeau Field recently, ready to accept the challenge, “Are you in it to win it?” and discuss innovations and investments every dairy should consider for a fruitful future.

    While volatile milk prices and increased feed costs have caused many dairy producers to re-examine their playbooks and develop a new defense strategy, the 11th annual Alltech Wisconsin Dairy School, held Thursday, Nov. 13 in Green Bay, urged producers to consider working on their offense instead this year.

    A pre-conference breakfast kicked off the event with Jake Peissig, JTP Farms, and Ray Diederich, Diederich Farms, each giving a virtual tour of their farms and sharing their experiences transitioning from labor to robotics in their presentation, “Robotic milkers: Are they the future?”

    The main reasons JTP Farms changed to a robotic system were labor and herd health issues. Since the farm added the technology, the herd has had virtually no feet or leg issues, cell count has improved and cull rate decreased to 6 percent the first year. The two-and-a-half full time employees were also able to spend more time focusing on young stock and lactating cows and additional time in the field during planting and harvesting.

    “You need to do your research. Don’t over think it. The more cows you have, the harder it gets,” Peissig said. “What are your goals? Tap all your resources and make sure you are dairying for the right reason.”

    Jack Rodenburg, DairyLogix Canada, opened the main conference asking, “Do robotics have a place on your dairy?” Rodenburg foresees robotics greatly impacting the future of dairy production in the United States, as the technology can reduce labor and management time, improve productivity and lower costs, revitalize the family farm and offer a sustainable alternative to “bigger is always better.”

    “In the future, we will be looking to robotics to reduce labor, improve productivity and narrow the gap between mega farms and 300-cow family run dairies,” Rodenburg said.

    Robotics were not the only investment discussed at the Dairy School. Brad Rortvedt, territory sales manager for Alltech, brought up several key assets within dairy production during his presentation, “Game changers: Where to see the greatest return within your dairy.” Rortvedt encouraged producers to invest in technologies that drive peak milk performance, provide more consistent and higher quality forages and strengthen pre/post-fresh nutrition programs to increase milk production.

    “Peak milk is the most efficient investment and will give you the highest ROI,” Rortvedt said. “By using all the tools available, we can measure success beyond the bulk tank milk.”

    Nick Adams, Alltech Mycotoxin Management Team, reminded the audience of another tool available that dairy producers should especially consider this harvest season. Alltech’s 37+TM Mycotoxin Analysis Program, using an improved liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry method, analyzes for multiple mycotoxin contamination in a given feed sample. The program provides a risk assessment and calculates the risk equivalent quantity (risk factor multiplied by the quantity of mycotoxin) for that particular feedstuff sample. The mycotoxin management team then provides a complete contamination report and recommendations for management and nutritional applications that can assist with mycotoxin prevention and control.  

    “Mycotoxin risk changes each year and throughout the feeding season,” Adams said. “Producers need to keep in mind the risk from mycotoxins is a moving target and what you feed today is not necessarily what you will feed tomorrow.”

    The Dairy School’s keynote speaker, former Green Bay Packer running back Ahman Green, concluded the event with his presentation “Are you in it to win it like the Packers?” Green, an all-time leading rusher for the Green Bay Packers and a member of the Green Bay Packer Hall of Fame, discussed the importance of having a positive attitude, a solid integrity and a strong family support network.

    Held each November in Green Bay, Alltech’s Dairy School is a long-standing tradition within the Wisconsin dairy community. More than 2,000 dairy industry professionals have attended the School since it first started in 2003.

    Alltech Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co. to Quadruple Capacity as Demand Grows

    Alltech Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co. is expanding its capacity in downtown Lexington, Kentucky. The brewery’s operations at its Angliana Avenue facility in Lexington will expand next year with the addition of a large 100,000- barrel Krones-Steinecker Combi-Cube B brewhouse from Germany, similar to the one shown here. Photo Credit: Krones AG

    [LEXINGTON, Ky.] – As demand for its beers and spirits grows across the United States as well as abroad, Alltech Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co. is expanding its capacity and upgrading its facilities in downtown Lexington, Kentucky. Its capacity will increase to 140,000 barrels thanks to two new brewhouses that will be installed by the end of 2015. The brewery’s operations at its Angliana Avenue facility, which currently contains cold storage for thousands of aging barrels of its flagship Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale®, will expand with the addition of a large 100,000- barrel Krones-Steinecker brewhouse from Germany.

    The original brewery structure at Cross Street will undergo a facelift that will allow visitors and anyone passing by to view brewing operations through two of the structure’s walls, which will be made of glass. The glass will display another exciting addition – that of another new, custom-made Krones-Steinecker brewhouse from Germany, unique in that it can also produce whiskey mashes. Capacity of this smaller brewhouse will be 35,000 barrels of beer and whiskey for fermentation. The equipment will significantly increase the beer and spirits production capacity of the Lexington brewery and distillery – one of only a handful of combined operations in the United States.  

    Construction and installation of the equipment will be completed in approximately one year. The increased capacity of the new system will be integral to increasing both brewing and distilling capacity for the company, which continues to expand globally, with distribution now in France, and soon to hit England, Spain and Japan. Currently, distribution exists in 25 states and five countries. Six salespeople across the United States were recently hired to keep up with new territories.

    “It’s every brewer’s dream to have the problem of not being able to make enough beer to meet demand,” said Mark Phipps, technical director for Alltech Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co. “That’s been the situation we’ve been facing in recent years, so it will be like waking up on Christmas morning once these new brewhouses are installed. Not only will the change be functional, but with the brewery updates, the whole facility is really going to be a great brewing and distilling showcase.”

    Brewing and distilling will continue during construction, which has already begun. Along with the addition of glass walls on two sides of the structure, the brewery roof will be raised, and Kentucky fieldstone will be utilized for connector walls. The brewery and distillery buildings are part of the company’s unique campus that also houses a visitor center and is on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail® experience. By utilizing similar building materials as the distillery structure, the brewery updates will create a more unified campus aesthetic, said Deirdre Lyons, co-founder and director of corporate image and design at Alltech.

     “With our Town Branch Distillery, we chose to utilize glass to showcase the beautiful copper pot stills, which are really breathtaking to see from both an interior and exterior view,” Lyons said. “So we also wanted to show off the beauty of the new brew kettles through glass walls to our visitors from afar and to Lexington residents, since brewing is of course one of the processes at the heart of what we do.”

    Kentucky Honey Barrel Brown Ale Seasonal Brew Debuts; Local Honey and Hops Used

    Four-packs of Kentucky Honey Barrel Brown Ale from Alltech Lexington Brewing and Distilling Company will soon hit shelves across the country. The new limited edition winter seasonal from the brewery is a bourbon barrel-aged brown ale brewed with ginger and Kentucky honey. Both the honey and hops are from Kentucky producers.

    [LEXINGTON, Ky.] – Honey tastes better when it’s local, and even better still when it’s in a craft beer. Central Kentucky farmers are helping make the first winter seasonal brew produced by Alltech Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co. truly a practice in some of Kentucky’s greatest strengths – agriculture, bourbon and, increasingly, beer.

    Kentucky Honey Barrel Brown Ale is aged in Kentucky bourbon barrels for six weeks, picking up the caramel and vanilla flavors of the barrel, as well as the sweetness of honey from Central Kentucky’s Hosey Honey, a Kentucky Proud product. That sweetness is balanced by the spiciness of ginger and bittnerness of hops from Boyd’s Bottom Hop Farm in Clark County, a founding member of the Kentucky Hop Growers Alliance. The brew comes in at 10 percent alcohol by volume (ABV). The beer is the first winter seasonal produced by Alltech Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co. in its barrel-aged seasonal series launched last year.

    “Alltech is an agricultural company at its core, so we’re always excited to work with farmers on the beer side as well when we can,” said Ken Lee, master brewer for Alltech Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co. “This winter seasonal is something we are really proud of not only for the local sourcing aspect, but also because it is just a really good beer. The ginger and honey are a perfect combination, particularly as the weather starts to cool down and people are looking to enjoy something to warm them up.”

    Farmers and other Kentuckians benefit from these partnerships, said Kentucky’s Commissioner for Agriculture James Comer.

    “This is what Kentucky Proud is all about – helping Kentucky producers work together to create exciting new products,” Comer said. “Kentucky consumers can feel good about enjoying products that help Kentucky farmers make a living. Congratulations to our Kentucky Proud friends at Alltech, Hosey Farms and Boyd’s Bottom Hop Farm on this great new product.”

    Kentucky Proud is the official state brand for farm products that are grown, raised or processed in Kentucky by Kentuckians. More than 3,000 farms, businesses, restaurants, processors, school districts, colleges and universities, farmers’ markets, Kentucky state parks, and Kentucky Farm Bureau Certified Roadside Markets are members of Kentucky Proud.

    This is the first time Hosey Honey has been used in a local craft brew, and nearly 1,700 pounds of the sweet nectar were required to make Kentucky Honey Barrel Brown Ale. Craft beer fans can find out more about beekeeper Richard Hosey and the new brew through this short video.

     Alltech Lexington Brewing and Distilling Company’s barrel-aged seasonal program allows the brewery to step outside of its year-round offerings and further its reputation as one of the largest barrel-aging operations in the country. The brewery regularly ages 3,000 to 5,000 barrels at a time, and handles up to 1,000 barrels per week. The brews in the seasonal series are finished using the same process as Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale® and Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Stout®, two beers in the brewery’s year-round lineup, which are both aged in Kentucky bourbon barrels for six weeks.

    Kentucky Honey Barrel Brown Ale will be available in limited quantities in most of the territories nationwide where the company’s beer is distributed. It will be sold on draft and in 4-packs of bottles, and specialty snifters will be available at various on-premise locations. The suggested retail price for the 4-pack is $14.99.  The new seasonal will also be available for visitors to sample on tours at the beer tasting room at the Alltech Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co. brewery. The brewery is at the same site as the Town Branch Distillery, which is a member of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail® and located at 401 Cross Street in Lexington.

    Walking the Fields: What is the 2014 Crop Bringing in Addition to High Yields?

    Dr. Max Hawkins, nutritionist with Alltech’s Mycotoxin Management Team, reported the latest crop results from Alltech’s 37+™ analysis during the company’s annual webinar, ‘Walking the Fields.’

    [LEXINGTON, Ky.] –While experts are forecasting a record-plus year for yields, an abundant harvest does not always indicate a problem-free crop to feed to livestock. Preliminary data conducted by Alltech’s 37+ Mycotoxin Analysis Program is now showing there might be more than meets the eye in the fields.

    Late season rains have slowed harvest across the Midwest. As of Oct. 27, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimated the corn harvest at 46 percent, a 15 percent increase from last week, but 19 percent behind the five-year average. Corn conditions were estimated by the USDA at 74 percent “good” or “excellent” condition, 19 percent was considered “fair” and only 7 percent was considered “poor”.

    While these initial condition ratings look favorable, experts warn that seasonal conditions still might have taken a toll on the crop and left behind some masked mycotoxins.

    “Cool, wet weather can be a precursor for mold growth and can lead to possible mycotoxin issues,” said Dr. Max Hawkins, nutritionist with Alltech’s Mycotoxin Management Team. “Fusarium graminareum can produce a variety of mycotoxins and prefers high moisture and temperatures from 59 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. This year’s growing season was cool and wet and the harvest season has also been delayed by wet weather.”

    An early indication of the Fusarium issue was found in the wheat crop, where high levels of Deoxynivalenol (DON) were found east of the Mississippi River, Dakotas and into Canada. DON levels in these regions ranged from 1,000 ppb to 15,000 ppb. According to Hawkins, this places wheat at a potential high risk for livestock feed, and extreme caution should be used when feeding straw to ruminants.

    Corn silage samples have also indicated there might be challenges in the 2014 crop.

    “The 2014 corn season started off slow due to wet planting conditions and cool soil temperatures. As a result, while some corn was planted in April, most was done in early to mid-May and in some cases like northern Iowa, planting extended into June,” said Heath Paradice, technical manager for Alltech Crop Science. “The late planted crops are doing better than expected due to a late fall, but that corn is coming in at a higher moisture content.”

     The first 35 corn silage samples analyzed at the recently ISO/IEC 17025:2005 accredited Analytical Services Laboratory of Alltech using Alltech’s 37+ analysis contained an average of 6.83 mycotoxins per sample. Further analysis showed that Type B Trichothecenes, DON and other DON group mycotoxins had an average/sample of 2,087 ppb. Fusaric Acid, which can act synergistically with DON, had an average/sample of 1,322 ppb.

    “Combined, these mycotoxins can have a significant impact on dry matter intake, milk production, growth rate, feed efficiency, gut health, organ function and immune response,” Hawkins said.

    With an average/sample level of 126.7 ppb, Zearalenone is showing levels higher than in the past two years. Other Penicilliums, which can impact gut health and rumen function, are typically referred to as “storage mycotoxins” as they require little oxygen and can flourish rapidly in stored forages. Hawkins said this year’s crop has had some relatively high Penicillium levels already at harvest.

    Corn that is stressed and damaged by weather events and insects is more susceptible to mycotoxins. While walking fields and looking for signs of molds, ear rot and stalk rot can be indicators for mycotoxins, there can be toxins present with no visible mold. Hawkins recommends having samples analyzed for mycotoxins.

    “The outlook for corn grain is concerning as the crop has been subjected to a later harvest with increased rain while still in the field,” Hawkins said. “The crop may be harvested at higher moisture levels, which can put added pressure on drying and storage environment to ensure grain at 15 percent moisture or less for long term storage. An analysis such as Alltech’s 37+ can provide a more in-depth picture of the mycotoxins present and how they may impact livestock health and performance.”

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