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Alltech to host webinar focused on mycotoxin risk and impacts for monogastric and ruminant animals 

[LEXINGTON, Ky.] – In 2019, the United States experienced excessive moisture during the growing season, resulting in increased mold growth — primarily Fusarium molds — and producing a variety of mycotoxins. These mycotoxins can cause a variety of health and performance issues in livestock, ranging from loss of feed intake, less weight gain, depressed gut and internal organ health, decreased reproduction, milk production and egg production, and an increase in secondary health issues.

Dr. Max Hawkins, a nutritionist with the Alltech® Mycotoxin Management team, will host a webinar focused on the results of the 2019 Alltech Harvest Analysis, including the mycotoxin risks and impacts for monogastric and ruminant animals, on Tuesday, March 31, 2020, at 3:00 p.m. EDT.

The 2019 Alltech Harvest Analysis, a study of 219 corn samples from across the U.S. conducted by the Alltech 37+® lab, showed that the samples contained 7.74 mycotoxins per sample, on average, with a range of 0–18. The number of mycotoxins present is crucial, as feeds that contain multiple mycotoxins pose a greater risk to livestock performance and health than feeds that contain only one or two. This can be the result of additive and/or synergistic effects between the mycotoxins.

“The levels of mycotoxins found in the 2019 crop are significantly higher than the average values,” said Hawkins. “The 2019 corn can be fed to livestock, but producers should test their own corn silage and develop a program to present the least risk to livestock health and performance.”

Type B trichothecenes (DON) (at 90.9%) and emerging mycotoxins (at 96.3%) were the two most commonly occurring mycotoxin groups in all samples, while fusaric acid and zearalenone were present in 84.9% and 55.3% of the samples, respectively. Trichothecenes and fusaric acid are typically two of the most commonly occurring mycotoxin groups in corn and corn products. Zearalenone has increased in both occurrence and level analyzed over the past two years, coinciding with the two wettest consecutive years over the past 126 years.

The average values of the mycotoxins analyzed showed that DON (at 1,294 ppb) and zearalenone (at 156 ppb) were the major mycotoxins of concern. Maximum levels for type B trichothecenes (33,230 ppb), type A trichothecenes (162 ppb), zearalenone (2,894 ppb), fusaric acid (6,792 ppb), Penicillium (1,689 ppb) and fumonisin (19,614 ppb) all present a significant risk when fed to livestock and poultry.

Swine show the greatest vulnerability due to their sensitivity to DON and zearalenone, which can have high-risk impacts on feed intake, average daily gain (ADG), reproduction and immune response. Typical inclusion rates for corn create a higher risk for sows, nursery and grow-finish pigs. The potential risk could cause a loss of more than $9 per pig during the nursery and grow-finish phases.

The corn risk to poultry is higher for layers and starters, while broilers generally face moderate risk. Feeding 2019 corn could result in losses of $0.33 per hen over 63 weeks and $0.12 per broiler.

For ruminants, the risk is higher in calves due to their undeveloped immune systems and rumens, as they will be high-risk for feed intake and ADG. Dairy cows will be at a more moderate risk regarding their rumen function and gut health, while beef cattle will be at a lower risk due to their tolerance and longer rumen turnover.

The first half of the webinar will focus on ruminants, register via this link, starting at 3:00 p.m. EDT. The monogastric presentation will follow at 3:30 p.m. EDT, register via this link. For more information on mycotoxin management, visit