With unexpected weather patterns can come unexpected changes to regional mycotoxin contamination patterns. Just two months ago in the Balkans, news emerged of aflatoxin B1 contamination of a maize crop and a spike in aflatoxin M1 concentrations in milk. The maize was rejected in international feed markets and the milk was withdrawn from sale. These events stemmed from extreme drought stress in the 2012 growing season leading to poor maize crop yields together with conditions that favored mold growth. What can be done?
Fungal infections in plants have been on the rise for many years. What’s more, fungal species are becoming less predictable. There are many possible reasons for these phenomena. Global warming is blamed for both droughts and flooding, which can result in high levels of mycotoxins at harvest time. Increased global trade and human mobility spread fungi beyond their original range.
Dr. S. Haladi of Alltech Canada, in conjunction with scientists at the University of Guelph, Ontario, has introduced a toxicity index to quantify the predicted pathogenicity of combinations of mycotoxins which may be present in feed.