Diarrhoea. A common problem in calves. Caused by a range of factors, can be infectious or non-infectious. Causes financial problems to farmers.

Sequestering Agent

An additive added to animal feedstuffs to minimise the toxicological impacts of mycotoxins to the animal and to reduce carryover of mycotoxins into the food chain for human consumption.


Fodder that has been harvested, compacted and stored in airtight conditions in a silo or silage clamp. It undergoes a fermentation process and lactic acid, acetic acid and propionic acid are produced. Silage is commonly fed to cattle. Maize and grass silages are the most common in the UK.

Silage clamp

A walled area used to store silage. Made of a back wall and two side walls, no front wall to allow for the silage to be removed. The clamp is filled by depositing the silage in the clamp and rolling over it in tractors many times to compact it and prevent oxygen for entering. The silage is left to ferment and is removed gradually. Silage clamps vary in height, width and depth.

Silage mycotoxins

Most commonly, Penicillium moulds and some Aspergillus moulds survive in silage and produce mycotoxins. Fusarium moulds usually die in the process of being ensiled. Many silage mycotoxins have antimicrobial effects on the microbes found in the rumen. These mycotoxins negatively affect the fermentation process, causes various effects such as reduced milk yield. Silage mycotoxins can also be neurotoxic and tremorgenic. Examples include penicillic acid, PR toxin and mycophenolic acid.


Used to store grain, usually a tall tower or a pit.


Female adult swine used for breeding.




Microscopic particles produced by fungi to allow them to produce asexually. Different spores have different properties, however they are adapted for dispersal. Mycotoxins are produced when the mould is stressed to protect spores.

Spring Wheat

Wheat planted in spring and harvested the following summer.

Storage fungi

Fungi that invade animal feedstuffs during the storage period (post-harvest). They generally need less moisture than field fungi and are not a large problem before harvest. Aspergillus and Penicillium species are classed are storage fungi.


A disease classified as sub-acute falls between acute and chronic. It may have had a reasonably recent onset and reasonably rapid changes to the animal may have been seen.

Sub-acute Ruminal Acidosis (SARA)

A disorder of the rumen, characterised by periods of low ruminal pH below 5.5. It is common in high producing dairy cows. Symptoms include diarrhoea, reduced rumination and undigested grain in faeces. Secondary signs include laminitis and poor body condition. Indication of SARA may be low milk fat. Causes decreased milk yields and reduced health, may result in culling.


The interaction of 2 or more substances, e.g mycotoxins, that produce more negative health effects than the sum of the separate effects of individual substances.