With the Corn Belt in the core area of extreme drought this summer – crops grown in these conditions are more vulnerable to mold growth and mycotoxins – which are dangerous to livestock – specifically swine. South Dakota State University Extension Swine Specialist Bob Thaler says this year’s grain crop will be poorer quality than normal and may be contaminated with molds. He encourages hog producers to begin preparing today and conserving the remaining high-quality 2011 corn crop for sows and nursery pigs. There are three specific molds Thaler says hog producers should test for – aflatoxin, vomitoxin and zearalenone. The level and type of mycotoxins found in a corn field can vary greatly – so Thaler encourages producers to take a variety of samples from each section of the field and combine them into one sample for testing. If producers have any questions after testing – he suggests they talk with their nutritionist or extension specialist. For more information and a list of testing labs go to www.iGrow.org.
Source: NAFB News Service