High mycotoxin risk in UK forage, reported by Alltech UK Harvest Analysis
Turbulent weather across Europe, including drought, throughout the 2021 growing season has directly impacted the presence of moulds and mycotoxins in forages. Mycotoxins are produced by certain species of moulds and are a concern for livestock producers due to their influence on feed and forage quality and subsequent animal health and performance.
The 2021 Alltech European Harvest Analysis UK forage findings, provided by the Alltech 37+® mycotoxin analytical services laboratory, uncovered the true threat mycotoxins pose to animals and producers. A recent UK Forage Insights webinar dissected the results of the UK forage analysis. The survey results were based on 41 samples of maize silage, wholecrop silage and grass silage. These samples were collected from farms across the UK.
The main speaker of the UK Forage Insights webinar, Dr. Radka Borutova, European technical support manager for the Alltech Mycotoxin Management team, revealed that across all forage samples collected in the UK, an average of 3.7 mycotoxins were detected per sample, with 100% of samples containing at least one mycotoxin, and 92.3% containing two or more mycotoxins. Type B-trichothecenes, fusaric acid and emerging mycotoxins were the most prevalent. The highest concentration of Type B-trichothecenes (2,308 ppb) was detected in wholecrop silage samples. Penicillium mycotoxins were detected in 31% of samples, with an average concentration of 903.1 ppb. A significant improvement in both milk production and somatic cell count was observed when Mycosorb A+® was used during a mycotoxin challenge. Overall, the UK forage analysis results indicate a high level of mycotoxin risk in dairy cows, beef cattle and heifers.
To act both early and effectively when faced with a potential mycotoxin risk, Dr. Borutova says, “it is vital for feed and livestock producers to get an accurate understanding of what they are up against, regular testing will provide such insight and, subsequently, help to identify the ideal solution to tackle mycotoxin challenges.”