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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 http://online.ansci.illinois.edu/and Illini DairyNETat http://www.livestocktrail.illinois.edu/dairynet/ Dr. Mike HutjensDairy Extension Specialist Jim BaltzInstructional Design Specialist University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign