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Published April 27, 2009, 10:15 PM

Check for storage molds in feed grains, hay

FARGO - Grain or hay harvested at high-moisture content last fall and not adequately stored or dried may have a higher risk of storage mold this spring.

By: NDSU Extension Service,

FARGO - Grain or hay harvested at high-moisture content last fall and not adequately stored or dried may have a higher risk of storage mold this spring.

“Storage mold fungi may result in poor-quality feed and the possible development of mycotoxins,” says Marcia McMullen, North Dakota State University Extension Service plant pathologist. “For example, corn or wheat grains and silage infected with one or more species of Fusarium fungi going into storage could have produced mycotoxins, such as vomitoxin and zearalone, in storage if the storage moisture and temperature remained high and fungal growth occurred.”

The safest recommendation is not to use mycotoxin-contaminated or moldy feed and hay. Feed grains and hay may be tested for common mycotoxin contaminates by the NDSU Veterinary Toxicology Lab or other grain testing laboratories, but some unknown or uncharacterized mycotoxins still could be present and not detected by the commonly used analytical methods.

“If moldy feed must be used, it should be fed only to animals that are less sensitive to potential adverse health effects of mycotoxins, such as feeder animals,” says Greg Lardy, NDSU Extension beef cattle specialist. “Moldy feeds should not be fed to pregnant or lactating animals.”

Information on the type of sample needed, cost of testing and specific mycotoxin analyses done by the NDSU Veterinary Diagnostic Lab may be found at http://www.vdl.ndsu.edu/. The lab can be reached by telephone at (701) 231-8307 or by e-mail at vdladmin@ndsuext.nodak.edu.

Detailed information about feeding moldy or mycotoxin-contaminated grain and hay may be found at:

– “DON (Vomitoxin) in Wheat” (NDSU) http://www.ag.ndsu.edu/pubs/plantsci/pests/pp1302.pdf.

– “Use of Feed Contaminated with Fungal (Mold) Toxins (Mycotoxins)” (University of Nebraska)

http://elkhorn.unl.edu/epublic/pages/publicationD.jsp?publicationId343.

– “Moldy Grains, Mycotoxins and Feeding Problems” (Ohio State University) http://www.oardc.ohio-

state.edu/ohiofieldcropdisease/mycotoxins/mycopagedefault.htm.

– “Mold and Mycotoxin Problems in Livestock Feeding” (Pennsylvania State University) http://www.das.psu.edu/dairy/nutrition/pdf/mold.pdf.

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