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Aflatoxin and Mycotoxin Risks. Dr. Mike Hutjens Dairy Extension Specialist. Jim Baltz Instructional Design Specialist. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Drought-Stress Corn Risks. Lower quality feed Nitrate levels Aflatoxin risks. What is Aflatoxin.

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Aflatoxin and Mycotoxin Risks

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    1. Aflatoxinand Mycotoxin Risks • Dr. Mike HutjensDairy Extension Specialist Jim BaltzInstructional Design Specialist University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

    2. Drought-Stress Corn Risks • Lower quality feed • Nitrate levels • Aflatoxin risks

    3. What is Aflatoxin • A fungi (Aspergillus) produces aflatoxin • Aflatoxin is a cancer-causing agent in humans and animals • Mold colonizes on corn kernels caused by ear rot or ear mold • The mold is olive-green colored mold

    4. Why is Aflatoxin A Concern for Lactating Cows? • FDA has ruled any milk over 0.5 ppb (parts per billion) cannot be used for human consumption • Lactating cows excrete 1 to 2% of consumed aflatoxin in milk • Rations over 20 ppb times 2% is 0.4 ppb (cows vary in the level of aflatoxin transferred)

    5. Scouting and Identifying the Disease • Inspecting at least 10 ears in several locations in a field prior to harvesting • Peel back the husks and look for an olive-green mold on the ears. • Mold will appear powdery and may disperse like dust when the husk is pulled back. Purdue Extension Diseas of Corn: Aspergillus Ear Rot BP-83-W

    6. Maximum Levels of Aflatoxin(In the total ration dry matter) • Lactating dairy cattle 20 ppb • Breeding beef, swine, and dairy 100 ppb • Swine 200 ppb • Beef steers 300 ppb

    7. Mycotoxin Levels for Dairy Cattle • Aflatoxin< 20 ppb(parts per billion) • DON (vomitoxin) < 6.0 ppm (parts per million) • T-2 toxin < 100 ppb • Zearalenone < 300 ppb

    8. Signs of Mycotoxin • Immune suppression (cattle do not respond to disease challenges) • Rumen disorders • Loose fecal discharges • Reduced dry matter intake (over 2 pounds per cow) • Hormonal-like changes (udder development and reduced fertility)

    9. Strategies If Milk Is High in Aflatoxin • Test your feeds to determine which feed(s) (corn, corn silage, fuzzy cottonseed, and/or corn by-product feed is an at-risk feed) • Remove any at-risk feed immediately, milk can clear in 48 hours (varies by cow) • Have your milk coop monitor your milk weekly to be sure it is safe

    10. Strategies With Aflatoxin- Contaminated Corn Grain or Silage • Dilute down with wholesome forages and grains • Add an additive (flow agent) • Ammoniate the corn grain • Be aware of corn by-product risks

    11. Mycotoxin Binders • Clay-based compounds such as bentonite, zeolite, and calcium aluminosilicate (50 to 225 gram / cow / day) when dealing with aflatoxin • Yeast cell wall extracts (also call MOS and glucomannans) and enzymatic products can be effective when dealing with T-2 toxins, DON, and zearalenone (10 g / cow / day)

    12. Ammoniation of Aflatoxin-Contaminated Corn Grain • Ammonia breaks the ring structure of aflatoxin • Treat grain above 13% moisture and 60 degrees F in a sealed containment bag / bin • Ammonia gas (0.5% to 1.5%) or aqua-ammonia 2.6 lb of 26 to 28% ammonia liquid • Corn will darken in color (caramelize sugar) • Can not be sold across state lines (FDA) and handling risks must be considered with ammonia

    13. By-Product Feeds • Corn distillers grain will be three times higher than the original corn in aflatoxin • Corn gluten feed can be high • Hominy can be high • Fuzzy cottonseed can contain aflatoxin

    14. Management Considerations • Testing feed is difficult due tosampling error • Do not store wet corn with aflatoxin as high moisture corn; dry it down to < 14% moisture • Wet corn (rain or maturity) and warm weather favor aflatoxin development • Screen out fines and broken kernels • Clean equipment after harvest

    15. Protect Yourself • Wear a respirator capable of filtering fine dust particles (N95 or better). • Change your clothes after handling grain. • See a doctor if you get sick after handling grain and make your physician aware of your activities. • Handle out-of-condition grain carefully. Be alert for blocked flow, cavities, crusting, and grain avalanches. Out-of-condition corn is the leading cause of suffocation in grain bins. Purdue Extension Managing AspergillusEar Rot and Aflatoxin

    16. Take Home Messages • Monitor milk aflatoxin levels to protect your milk supply and consumer confidence • Test feeds to determine risk • Consider strategies to reduce levels in milk

    17. Check out our online dairy courses at Illini DairyNETat Dr. Mike HutjensDairy Extension Specialist Jim BaltzInstructional Design Specialist University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign