Mycotoxins undermine performance

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Through greater understanding over recent years, it has become clear that conserved forages by their very nature attract mould growth and mycotoxins.

Mycotoxins are produced by moulds, a number of which can result in rumen dysfunction, reduced feed intake, significant drops in milk output, infertility, and decreased immune response to diseases.

To fully understand the broad spectrum challenge posed by mycotoxins, Alltech’s 37+™ mycotoxin analysis can provide a complete picture of the contamination by these once invisible compounds.

This recently ISO/IEC 17025:2005 accredited laboratory utilizes sophisticated analytical techniques that have the ability to identify more than 37 mycotoxins at a time.

With this analysis, it is clear that mycotoxins are a common problem in forage and more often than not, multiple mycotoxins are present. These have a synergistic effect, meaning that the presence of one exaggerates the effect of another, increasing the overall risk to the dairy and beef animal.

Farmers may think that only those feeds showing visible evidence of mould growth contain mycotoxins. Unfortunately, this is not true.

Mycotoxins will remain active even after the moulds responsible for producing them have been removed and are often present even when no visible mould exists.

According to Fergal McAdam, Alltech’s Regional Sales Manager: “Mycotoxins will act to impair dairy cow performance in a number of ways and as such, they represent a real and ever-present threat to the performance levels achieved by dairy cows.

“Alltech 37+ allows us to identify more than 37 mycotoxins; indicating the specific cause of the mycotoxin challenge on individual farms. More importantly, it shows us that this is a broad spectrum challenge.”

The most effective way to deal with mycotoxins once they have contaminated feeds is to absorb them using an effective binder which can be added to the ration.

Alltech has led the way in developing this specific technology which provides a comprehensive solution to the challenge posed by mycotoxins.

Mycosorb A+® represents an evolution in mycotoxin binders, offering superior binding capabilities and a broad absorption profile. As a result, Mycosorb A+ delivers enhanced protection against the effects of mycotoxins.

Scientific research has shown that the addition of Mycosorb A+ to dairy rations can improve overall milk yield, reduce somatic cell counts (SCC) and improve the overall profit per cow.

Mycotoxin contamination of feed is likely, and these toxins have the potential to significantly impact cows.

Alltech Mycotoxin Management provides tailored, species specific methods for reducing the risk of mycotoxins to animals as well as the economic burden of mycotoxins on producers.

While mycotoxins may be present in 2014 feedstuffs, effective mycotoxin management can help to minimise the impact on dairy cow health and performance.

Alltech helps sfarmers feed the world, raise healthy animals, and protect the environment through nutritional innovation. More than 30 years of research in animal nutrition and health have allowed Alltech to develop and manufacture innovative, natural feed supplements.