Adsa Logo White Adsa Title White

Mycotoxins in forage-based feeds from the United States and Canada.

P. N. Gott




Mycotoxins in forage-based feeds from the United States and Canada.
P. N. Gott*1, E. G. Hendel1, S. M. Ramirez1, U. Hofstetter2, G. R. Murugesan1. 1BIOMIN America Inc Overland Park, KS, 2BIOMIN Holding GmbH Getzersdorf, Lower Austria, Austria.

The complex nature of ruminant diets leads to increased risk of broad-spectrum mycotoxin exposure. These harmful secondary fungal metabolites are detrimental to animal health and productivity. This study investigated the occurrence and contamination levels of mycotoxins in several forage-based ruminant feeds. Corn silage, haylage (including grass, alfalfa, and mixed), and straw samples from across the US and Canada were screened as part of an on-going survey for the presence of 6 major mycotoxin groups: aflatoxins, type A trichothecenes, type B trichothecenes (B-Trich), fumonisins (FUM), zearalenone (ZEN) and ochratoxin A via LC-MS/MS technique. Samples submitted for analysis due to clinical health or performance concerns were excluded from the data set. Among 81 corn silage samples harvested in 2019, B-Trich were most prevalent (94% positive), ZEN frequently occurred (31%), and FUM were minimally detected (7%). Mean contamination levels (parts per billion, ppb) as-received were 1272 ppb, 216 ppb, and 167 ppb, respectively. Only 5% of silage samples were below the limit of detection (LOD) for all mycotoxins evaluated. Analysis of 14 haylage samples from 2019 crop year (various cuttings represented) revealed B-Trich as the most commonly detected mycotoxin group with 57% of samples positive at a mean concentration of 1607 ppb. Twenty-one 2019 straw samples were submitted for analysis with 100% testing positive for some level of B-Trich and 81% positive for ZEN. Mean B-Trich levels in straw were 2001 ppb while ZEN averaged 640 ppb. Seventy-one percent of straw samples were positive for both B-Trich and ZEN. Preliminary survey results suggest B-Trich and ZEN are the most commonly occurring major mycotoxins in 2019 forage-based feeds including corn silage, haylage, and straw from US and Canada. Increased scrutiny of forage-based feeds for their potential contribution to overall mycotoxin load in the diet is warranted as contamination was both frequent and at high enough levels to pose potential risk to the health, performance, and reproductive success of ruminants.

Keywords: mycotoxin, forage, silage.